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by Yuri MARKOV, test engineer
Russia's space science has been keeping its leading positions in the country's scientific complex for the last ten years too - this conclusion was made at the conference of scientists, which took place on October 2 - 4, 2004, in Moscow, at the RAS Institute of Space Research (IKI). "This has become possible," pointed out Academician Yuri Osipov, RAS President, in his speech at the forum, "due to the concentration of limited financial resources for minimal number of priority projects, that have guaranteed to the Russian scientists the unique results at the world level and allowed to carry out mutually advantageous cooperation and exchange of scientific information with foreign colleagues."
Many outstanding scientists of the country took part in the conference: Efraim Akim, Dr. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), who has made a great contribution to the elaboration and implementation of the project of soft landing of space apparatuses on the Moon's surface in 1966; Mikhail Marov, RAS Corresponding Member, who was at the forefront of studies of Venus and Mars with the help of interplanetary stations; Academician Alexander Boyarchuk, scientific head of the Astron project (1983), which supplied extremely important data on stars and galaxies in ultraviolet spectrum; Academician Rashid Syunyaev, who in the 1990s made sensational discoveries in the sphere of gamma - and x-ray astronomy, etc.
The participants and guests of the conference were interested in the exhibition "Projects of Space Research Today and Tomorrow" opened in the conference-hall of the Institute. Over 50 artistically designed stands, many models of flying devices, natural scientific instruments told much about the most significant experiments, that are in progress now or are being prepared to be implemented in future, dealing with problems of astrophysics, studies of planets, physics of cosmic plasma, sun-earth links, modern technology and instrument-making, information technologies.
In astrophysics of special interest was the Radioastron project. This work is headed by the RAS Astrocosmic Center of Physical Institute named after P. Lebedev (FIAN), and the work of space complex is headed by S. Lavochkin Scientific and Production Amalgamation. Studies will be conducted with the help of a radiointerferometer, consisting of radar telescope and a network of sur-
face devices, located in different countries.*
The forum participants also discussed an establishment of the International Astrophysical Observatory "Spectrum-X-Ray-Gamma"; RAS Institute of Space Research takes an active part in its construction. Russian scientists also participate in the work of the International Astronomical Laboratory named "Integral" (European Space Agency), launched into orbit from Baikonur cosmodrome with the help of Proton rocket-carrier on October 17, 2002.** Our specialists were granted the right to 27 percent of surveying time. The results of their work became evident immediately in the sphere of gamma - and hard X-ray radiation. It is not accidental that R. Syunyaev pointed out in his speech: "The received data are amazing: there are positrons in our Galaxy. Scientists have to find out how they are formed.
It cannot be excluded that they are formed from decomposition of the black substance."
Here is another sensation: a new class of space gamma-splashes has been discovered; their luminosity is thousands of times less than that of "ordinary" sources. That is why it is assumed today that the Universe is in fact more active than it was believed up till now.
It can be put down to the credit of our scientists and engineers that they themselves made scientific devices successfully functioning in orbit, including those working on the American probe Mars-Odyssey*** and the European one-Mars-Express****.
The study of the Sun is still in progress thanks to the Russo-Ukrainian Observatory Koronas-F (head organization-RAS Institute of Earth's Magnetism, Ionosphere and Spread of Radiowaves). And though, pointed out one of the authors of the work Vladimir Kuznetsov, Dr. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), in the 11-year cycle the luminary's activity is declining, nonetheless the appropriate devices have registered powerful processes on it. How can this phenomenon be explained? Scientists have no answer for the present.
In 2006 - 2007 Cyclone-3 rocket-carrier (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine) must take into orbit a principally new Russian satellite Koronas-Photon. It is assumed that we are in for original discoveries in nuclear astrophysics and more circumstantial studies of solar-earth, climatic and other links. To achieve these objectives satellites Colibri, Chibis, etc. must be launched into orbit.
In addition to the aforesaid, in com-pliance with the Federal Space Program, our country is going to launch an observatory Spektr-Ultrafiolet. It is planned to set up a reflective telescope T-170 on it, which has no analogs in the world (RAS Institute of Astronomy).
* See: Yu. Markov, "Space Telescopes", Science in Russia, No. 1, 2002. - Ed.
** See: Yu. Markov, "'Integral' in Orbit", Science in Russia, No. 2, 2003. - Ed.
*** See: I. Mitrofanov, "Unlocking Martian Enigmas", Science in Russia, No. 6, 2002. - Ed.
**** See: Yu. Markov, "Destination-Red Planet", Science in Russia, No. 5, 2003. - Ed.; M. Litvak, I. Mitrofanov, "Martian Seasons", Science in Russia, No. 4, 2004. - Ed.
Work on the Phobos-Grunt project is also in full swing, which is to deliver relic particles of the Martian satellite to the Earth. "Navigation problems of directing a space apparatus at such a small celestial body as Phobos, approaching it and landing on its surface is a very complicated task, which is now in focus of the scientists from the RAS Institute of Applied Mathematics named after M. Keldysh," underlined E. Akim in his report.
The forum participants were also greatly interested in the speeches of other scientists. Thus, Academician Nikolai Kardashev and RAS Corresponding Member Anatoly Cherepashchuk, gave careful consideration to the problems of the study of the so-called "black holes" in the Universe. RAS Corresponding Member Valery Galchenko dedicated his report to the study of cryptosphere (latent remains of living organisms) of Mars and Jupiter satellites. Academician Nikolai Anfimov acquainted the participants with long-term works of the Central Scientific-Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, and General Designer and Director General of S. Lavochkin Scientific and Production Amalgamation Konstantin Pichkhadze, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), told them about setting up of unified space platforms for scientific and applied programs. The forum participants were also attracted by the report of an outstanding British scientist, staffmember of Max Planck Institute, Jan Axford, on the origin of solar wind.
In short, the forum participants at RAS Institute of Space Research discussed a wide range of problems concerning the studies of space and extraterrestrial objects in the interests of science and all of mankind.
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