Giant Space Scope RadioAstron Reaches Orbit

RadioAstron, a Russian radio telescope intended to be the biggest radio telescope in space, has started touring the Earth for the first time. Once operational, the 3.8 tonne "space eye" could help focus in on many remote places of the Universe. The device will travel in an elliptical orbit that at its furthest reaches almost as far as the Moon. Carried by a Zenith-3M rocket, it blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome on Monday. The telescope is part of a Russian space observatory called Spectrum-R. Despite RadioAstron's antenna being only 10m across - far smaller than the antennas of many other radio telescopes on Earth - its signals are meant to be combined with those on the ground, effectively making it the biggest radio telescope in space.