RadioAstron, aka Spectrum-R, is in orbit. If it successfully opens its 10-meter dish antenna a few days from now, it will join the list of great space-based telescopes. It also signals that Russia is still a strong space-capable nation, doing much more than cheaply ferrying foreign astronauts to the International Space Station, filling the gap left behind by the retirement of the Shuttle program.
Tomorrow will be the 42nd anniversary of Armstrong’s “One small step”. How many years do we need to wait for the next small step taken by a human, be it in the dust of the Moon, the red rocks of Mars, or the cold surface of an asteroid?