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VSOP-2 in Japan:
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Space VLBI:
  Historical Background

Space VLBI History

A series of pioneering experiments involving NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) satellites ( Levy et al. 1986, Linfield et al. 1989, 1990) provided the initial proof of concept for Space VLBI. These initial tests were successfully followed up by the Japanese-launched HALCA satellite mission (VLBI Space Observing Programme; VSOP-1, 1997-2006; see Hirabayashi et al. 1998). VSOP-1 was an engineering mission from the Japanese MUSES (Mu-Series Engineering Satellite) program that solved a variety of complex issues involving ground telescope scheduling, data correlation, and Space VLBI imaging to create a fully functional observatory that was ultimately made available to the astronomical community. Following from the operational success of VSOP-1, a proposed US-led successor mission called ARISE (Ulvestad 1999--New Astronomy Reviews, 43, 531; Ulvestad 2000--Advances in Spae Research, 26, 735) was recommended by the year-2000 Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey committee. While costs precluded such a mission in the tight fiscal environment of the last decade, 7 of 9 ARISE science goals can be realized through the SAMURAI science investigation, while the other two can be realized through the non-SAMURAI parts of the VSOP-2 mission.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14-Jan-2009 10:21:32 MST

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