The launch happened in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin which will study the outbreaks gamma ray, very brief phenomena that constitute the most extreme explosions in the universe.
Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) space telescope was launched yesterday from the new Russian Vostochny Cosmodrome; Russian spaceport. The goal is to investigate the powerful gamma-ray bursts, the result of the death of very massive stars or the merger of two stars.
UFFO has been developed by an international collaboration led by Korea, and which also includes Russia, Spain, Taiwan and Denmark.
The space telescope is part of the payload of the ship Lomonosov, whose launch has been the first made since the new Vostochny Cosmodrome was constructed in Amur, Russia, near the Kamchatka Peninsula.
UFFO/Lomonosov is a fast – tracking telescope which detect the X-ray emission, visible and ultraviolet light associated with the initial moments of cosmic gamma – ray bursts (known Gamma-ray Bursts; GRBs), which will open a new horizon in the study and understanding of the universe.
“Coordination with Soomin Jeong (project manager) here in Granada, who has been with us the last three years has it been essential and now it’s time to reap the fruits: capture that first light of GRBs is a longing for all researchers in the field and will be realized soon,” said Alberto J. Castro-Tirado, IAA researcher involved in the scientific coordination of the project.
The UFFO telescope will scan deep space from an orbital altitude of 490 kilometers and with a rated life of three years, after an initial period of three months of testing and calibration.
“It was a titanic effort that has required the collaboration of many institutions to complete it in half the time than would have been necessary for large space agencies,” said Victor Reglero, a researcher at the University of Valencia participating in the project.