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14th of February 2022
25th Anniversary of VSOP launch
The angular resolution of an array of radio telescopes becomes finer as the distance between the telescopes increases. There is therefore a natural limit to Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) imposed by the diameter of the Earth! However, this constraint can be overcome by placing a radio telescope in orbit about the Earth -- Space VLBI. After some technical demonstrations of the technique were made with a TDRSS satellite in the 1980s, two dedicated Space VLBI missions were developed: the VLBI Space Observatory Programme (VSOP), led by Japan, and RadioAstron, led by Russia. The VSOP satellite, HALCA, was launched from Japan on 12 February 1997, and the mission conducted over 600 observations at 1.6 and 4.8 GHz with arrays of ground radio telescopes over its lifetime. The ATCA, Mopra, Hobart and Ceduna radio telescopes all contributed to the VSOP Survey Program of Active Galactic Nuclei and to Guest Observing Time. Fittingly, today is the first day of the "VLBI in the SKA Era" conference, which will review the past, consider the present, and contemplate the future of VLBI.

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