On July 6, 2003, the unique 70-meter Ukrainian radio telescope RT-70, located near the resort town of Yevpatoria in Crimea, sent a METI (Cosmic Call 2) message to extraterrestrial civilizations in the direction of five stars – Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri (HD 75732), HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris (HD 95128). Messages will reach these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044, and 2049, respectively.

The P-2500 (RT-70) radio telescope is unique and one of the largest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world. Its feature is powerful transmitters that allow performing active space experiments related to the emission of electromagnetic currents in the direction of the studied objects with further analysis of the reflected signals. Currently, there are only two such powerful “space radars” in the world – Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California and RT-70 near Yevpatoria.

As can be seen from the name, the diameter of the main mirror of the telescope is 70 m, and the auxiliary mirror is 7 m. The height of the antenna is 86.36 m, and the mass of the moving part is about 5000 tons! The telescope was built in 1978. During the operation of the transmitter, the intensity of the electromagnetic field in a radius of 100 meters around the antenna poses a danger to life and health. The buildings on the telescope site are protected from radiation.

Радіотелескоп РТ-70

Photo: inside the antenna mirror of the RT-70 radio telescope. Photographer Volodymyr Vlasenko, 2012

The twin brothers of the Evpatoria RT-70 were built in the Far East of Russia in Galenki and in Uzbekistan on the Suffa Plateau. There is information that the RT-70 in Galenki was disabled by hunters for the non-ferrous metal in the early 90s, but now it is planned to be restored (most likely this will not happen). The construction of the RT-70 in Suffa was frozen in the 1990s and supposedly resumed in 2018 as a joint project of Uzbekistan and Russia. It is planned that the telescope at Suffa will start working in 2024, but most likely not.

However, the Russians are now using the stolen RT-70 in the temporarily occupied Crimea. The robbers even had the audacity to add a telescope to a 100-ruble bill printed in 2015. But we will return everything, that’s for sure!