Congratulations to the corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr. Igor Novikov with the award of the First John Archibald Wheeler Prize (2020). This award is presented for his contribution to the development of the General Theory of Relativity and the physics of black holes.
This year together with Igor Novikov the famous physicist Kip Thorne (Caltech) and Oxford University professor Roger Penrose also became the laureates of this prize. The prize will be awarded by the President of the Italian Physical Community at the official awards ceremony in Rome on May 22, 2020.
On December 12, international scientific working groups of Millimetron project started their operation. The goals of scientific groups are to prepare proposals for the scientific program of a future space mission. In addition to scientists from Russia, the scientific groups included representatives of the scientific community from Europe, the USA, China, South Korea, Japan and Chile and other countries.
On this day, a teleconference of one of the scientific groups devoted to relativistic gravity and terrestrial-space radio interferometry took place.
Main Parameters of Millimetron Mission
|Antenna diameter||10 m|
solid, deployable and adjustable in orbit
|Antenna surface accuracy (wave front error)
||6 μm RMS|
|Antenna surface temperature||< 10 K, mechanically cooled|
|Wavelength coverage||10 mm – 70 μm|
|Orbit||Halo round Lagrangian L2 & Moon gravity assist transit to elliptical orbit
|Operational life time||10 year, including cryo >3 years|
|Two observing modes & instrumentation||Space Earth-VLBI||10 – 0.5 mm wavelength|
|Single dish||3 - 0.07 mm wavelength|
|Provisional launch date||2029|
|Mission status||Approved by Russian Space agency|
Millimetron Space Observatory
Millimetron space observatory (Spektr-M) is a project of Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (ASC LPI). It will be a 10-meter space telescope designed to study various objects in the Universe at millimeter and infrared wavelengths from 0.07 to 10 mm. The observatory has two operational modes: the single-dish and Space-Earth interferometer. The first mode will have the best sensitivity to study the weakest sources of the Universe. The second mode will provide high angular resolution up to 10-8 – 10-9 arcseconds to study the structure of the most compact objects in the Universe – supermassive black holes.
High sensitivity is achieved by deep cooling of the telescope mirror system and on-board scientific payload. While, high angular resolution is provided by the orbit configuration. The observatory will be located near the Lagrange point L2 at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the anti-solar direction.
Scientific program of Millimetron space observatory is aimed to solve a set of the most important and breakthrough scientific problems in the field of modern astrophysics and cosmology, namely detailed study of black hole shadows, search for wormholes, water trail in the Galaxy, CMB spectral distortions.
Russian Federation leads the project; the state customer of Millimetron observatory is Roscosmos; the head of the project is Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences. Millimetron is included in the Russian Federal Space Program for 2016-2025 years.
The prime contractor for the development of spacecraft bus is Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Lavochkin Research and Production Association”. The prime contractor for the development of scientific payload and scientific program is Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences. JSC “Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Company” is responsible for the design of space telescope construction, including space antenna, assembly and testing of the scientific payload.