BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, July 18 (UPI) -- A long-delayed Russian radio telescope was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the country's Federal Space Agency said.
The Spektr-R orbiting radio observatory was launched Monday into an elliptical orbit that varies between 621 miles and 207,000 miles above the Earth, SPACE.com reported Monday.
Multiple delays in construction of the telescope, built by Lavochkin Association of Moscow, had pushed the original launch date of 2004 or 2005 back.
During its five-year mission, the Spektr-R observatory will study black holes, pulsars and other deep space objects with the participation of scientists from 20 countries.
With a 30-foot-wide antenna dish, the Spektr-R is part of an international astronomy project that will see it working in conjunction with radio telescopes on Earth.
"The aim of the mission is to use the space telescope to conduct interferometer observations in conjunction with the global ground radio telescope network in order to obtain images, coordinates, motions and evolution of angular structure of different radio emitting objects in the universe," Roscosmos officials said in a statement.