The main scientific goal of the mission is the study of astronomical objects with an angular resolution up to a few millionths of an arcsecond. This is accomplished by using the satellite in conjunction with ground-based observatories and interferometry techniques.
The telescope is intended for radio-astrophysical observations of extragalactic objects with ultra-high resolution, as well as researching of characteristics of near-Earth and interplanetary plasma. The very high angular resolving power will be achieved when used in conjunction with a ground-based system of radio-telescopes and interferometrical methods, operating at wavelengths of 1.35–6.0, 18.0 and 92.0 cm. Once in space, the flower-like main dish was to open its 27 'petals' within 30 minutes.
At launch the mass of the spacecraft was about 5,000 kilograms (11,000 lb). It was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 18, 2011 at 6.31 a.m. MSK by a Zenit-3M launcher with Fregat-SB upper stage.
Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( | ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in (brackets).