A project for extremely high-resolution radio astronomy, extending the principle of very long baseline interferometry by putting an antenna into space. From 1997 to 2003 an 8-m antenna on board the Japanese satellite HALCA observed in conjunction with radio telescopes on Earth. The combination of signals from the spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes synthesized a radio telescope equivalent in diameter to three times the Earth's radius. A follow-on mission, VSOP-2, using a satellite with a 9-m antenna and working at shorter frequencies, is planned for launch in 2013 or later.
http://www.vsop.isas.jaxa.jp/vsop2/ Official project website.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.