Astron (spacecraft)

Astron was a Soviet space telescope launched on 23 March 1983 at 12:45:06 UTC, using the Proton launcher.[3] Based on the 4MV spacecraft design and operational for six years, Astron was the largest ultraviolet space telescope of its time.

Astron
Astron.gif
Mission typeAstrophysical research
OperatorUSSR
COSPAR ID1983-020A [1]
SATCAT no.13901
Mission duration6 years
Start of mission
Launch date23 March 1983 12:45 (1983-03-23UTC12:45) UTC
RocketProton-K/D-1 8K82K/11S824M
Launch siteTYURATAM MISSILE AND SPACE COMPLEX
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeHigh Earth
Semi-major axis108,531 km (67,438 mi)[1]
Eccentricity0.6575927[2]
Perigee altitude30,791.0 km (19,132.6 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude173,530.2 km (107,826.7 mi)[1]
Inclination48.4°[1]
Period5,930.5 minutes[1]
Mean motion0.24281115 rev/day[2]
Epoch19 July 2017 07:25:15 UTC
 

The project was headed by Alexandr Boyarchuk.[4][5] The spacecraft was designed and constructed by the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory and NPO Lavochkin. A group of scientists from these institutions was awarded the USSR State Prize for their work.[6]

The payload consisted of an 80 cm ultraviolet telescope, which was jointly designed by the USSR and France, and an X-ray spectroscope.[7] It could take UV spectra 150-350 nm.[8]

Placed into an orbit with an apogee of 185,000 kilometres (115,000 mi), Astron was capable of making observations outside the Earth's umbra and radiation belt.

Among the most important observations made by Astron were those of SN 1987A supernova from March 4 to March 12, 1987,[9] and of Halley's Comet in December 1985, the latter of which enabled a group of Soviet scientists to develop a model of the comet's coma.[10]

See alsoEdit

  • Granat - A later space observatory based on the Venera spacecraft bus

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "ASTRON".
  2. ^ a b "TLE".
  3. ^ J. McDowell. "Jonathan McDowell's launchlog". Jonathan's Space Home Page. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Spectr-UF Project History" (in Russian). Archived from the original on March 6, 2005.
  5. ^ "Alexander Boyarchuk" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Crimean Astrophysical Observatory" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  7. ^ "The Astron Satellite". NASA/GSFC. 26 June 2003. Archived from the original on 26 August 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  8. ^ Boyarchuk, A. A.; Grinin, V. P.; Zvereva, A. M.; Petrov, P. P.; Sheikhet, A. I. (1986). "A model for the coma of Comet Halley, based on the Astron ultraviolet spectrophotometry". Pis'ma v Astronomicheskii Zhurnal. 12: 696. Bibcode:1986PAZh...12..696B.
  9. ^ A.A. Boyarchuk; et al. (1987). "Observations on Astron: Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud". Pis'ma v Astronomicheskii Zhurnal (in Russian). 13: 739–743. Bibcode:1987PAZh...13..739B.
  10. ^ A.A. Boyarchuk; et al. (1986). "A model for the coma of Comet Halley, based on the Astron ultraviolet spectrophotometry". Pis'ma v Astronomicheskii Zhurnal (in Russian). 12: 696–706. Bibcode:1986PAZh...12..696B.
  • A.A. Бойарчук (1994). Астрофизические исследования на космической станции "Астрон" (in Russian). Moscow: Nauka.