On July 18, 2011 at 02:31 UTC the "Zenith-3M” rocket-carrier equipped with the Fregat-SB upper stage was launched by Russian and Ukrainian teams from Baykonur Cosmodrome.
The rocket orbited the Russian "RadioAstron” ("Spektr-R” - Spectrum-R) astrophysical observatory.
The Spektr-R satellite is one element of an international network of observatories in a project called RadioAstron. When linked with ground-based telescopes across the globe, Spektr-R will facilitate unprecedented views into black holes that form the centers of galaxies and will help astronomers see deeper into supermassive black holes, obtain views of collapsed stars and better measure the influence of dark energy on the cosmos.
The Astro Space Center is coordinating the Spektr-R mission. The spacecraft was manufactured by the Lavochkin company, a leading Russian satellite developer.
The RadioAstron project includes major contributions from the United States, China, India, Australia, Japan, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, and the European Space Agency.