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also known for its project name VSOP
(VLBI Space Observatory Programme
), or the code name MUSES-B
for the second of the Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft
series, is a Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...
ese 8 meter diameter radio telescope
A radio telescope is a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy. The same types of antennas are also used in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes...
satellite which was used for Very Long Baseline Interferometry
Very Long Baseline Interferometry is a type of astronomical interferometry used in radio astronomy. It allows observations of an object that are made simultaneously by many telescopes to be combined, emulating a telescope with a size equal to the maximum separation between the telescopes.Data...
. It is in an orbit with an apogee altitude of 21,400 km and a perigee
Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...
altitude of 560 km. The elliptical orbit allowed imaging of celestial radio sources by the satellite and ground based telescopes, with good (u,v) plane coverage and high resolution. The orbit has an inclination of 31 degrees, and a period of about 6.3 hours. It was launched in February 1997 from Kagoshima Space Center. After three years of designed life, attitude control failed in 2003, and the operation officially ended in November 2005.
HALCA will be followed by ASTRO-G
Astro-G is a planned radio telescope satellite under development by JAXA. It is expected to be launched into elliptic orbit around Earth . Astro-G was selected in February 2006 against the competition of a proposed new X-Ray astronomy mission and a proposed solar sail mission to Jupiter...
- Observations of hydroxyl masers and pulsars at 1.6 GHz
- Detection of interference fringes for quasar
A quasi-stellar radio source is a very energetic and distant active galactic nucleus. Quasars are extremely luminous and were first identified as being high redshift sources of electromagnetic energy, including radio waves and visible light, that were point-like, similar to stars, rather than...
PKS1519-273 between HALCA and terrestrial radio telescopes
- Routines imaging of quasars and radio galaxies etc. by means of experimental VLBI observations with HALCA and terrestrial radio telescope networks