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Russia’s future space observatory to be able to search for other civilizations — Roscosmos

The probe capable of operating in the millimeter and infrared wave bands will be launched after 2025

MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. Russia’s proposed scientific satellite Millimetron (also known as Spektr-M), whose main task will be to conduct research into the early days of the Universe, will also be searching for traces of engineering activity by extraterrestrial civilizations, if they ever existed or do exist, the executive director of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos for research programs and science, Alexander Bloshenko, told TASS in an interview.

The probe capable of operating in the millimeter and infrared wave bands will be launched to the Lagranian point L2 after 2025.

"On the list of Millimetron’s most remarkable and thrilling tasks will be to probe into the early stages of the evolution of the Universe, the emergence of the first stars and galaxies, physical processes inside active galactic nuclei (AGN) within the event horizons of supermassive black holes, the cosmological parameters of the Universe and search for traces of life and even possible astro-engineering activity in the Universe," Bloshenko said.

The Spektr-M will be equipped with extra-sensitive research equipment, including a unique 10-meter mirror system with combined passive-active cooling to temperatures close to the absolute zero. This will ensure extra-high sensitivity and resolution of measurements.

Taking part in Russia’s Millimetron program are scientists and engineers from Italy, China, South Korea, France and Sweden.

The use of the Spektr-M observatory in the interferometric mode in combination with ground telescopes and, in the longer term, with space telescopes will allow for achieving an angular resolution thousands of times greater than any ground systems are capable of.