Orion 1 and Orion 2 Space Observatories
The Orion 1 Space Observatory and Orion 2 Space Observatory were space observatories
Space observatory
A space observatory is any instrument in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects...

 installed in spacecraft launched by the space program
Soviet space program
The Soviet space program is the rocketry and space exploration programs conducted by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the 1930s until its dissolution in 1991...

 of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 during the 1970s.

Orion 1

The Orion 1 space astrophysical observatory was installed in the orbital station Salyut 1
Salyut 1
Salyut 1 was the first space station of any kind, launched by the USSR on April 19, 1971. It was launched unmanned using a Proton-K rocket. Its first crew came later in Soyuz 10, but was unable to dock completely; its second crew launched in Soyuz 11 and remained on board for 23 days...

. It was designed by Grigor Gurzadyan
Grigor Gurzadyan
- Life :Gurzadyan was born on October 15, 1922 in Baghdad, to parents who fled in 1915 Western Armenia. Upon graduating the from the Hydrotechnical and Constructional Department of Yerevan Polytechnic Institute in 1944, he became the postgraduate of Victor Ambartsumian, who had just moved to Armenia...

 of Byurakan Observatory
Byurakan Observatory
The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, or Byurakan Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Armenian Academy of Sciences. It is located on the slope of Mount Aragats in the village of Byurakan in Armenia.-History:...

 in Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

. It was operated in June 1971 by crew member Viktor Patsayev
Viktor Patsayev
Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz 11 mission and had the unfortunate distinction of being part of the second crew to die during a space flight...

, who thus became the first man to operate a telescope outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Spectrograms of stars Vega
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the fifth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus...

 and beta Centauri
Beta Centauri
Beta Centauri , also known as Hadar or Agena, is the second brightest star in the constellation Centaurus and the tenth brightest star in the night sky. Beta Centauri is a B1 III blue-white giant star that the astrometric Hipparcos satellite calculates as about 161 parsecs or 525 light-years from...

 between wavelengths 2000 and 3800 Å have been obtained.


  • UV-telescope:
  • Optical system: Mersenn
  • Spectrograph: Wadsworth
  • Diameter of primary mirror: 280 mm
  • Focal length: 1400 mm
  • Spectral range: 2000-3800 Å
  • Spectral resolution at wavelength 2600 Å: 5 Å
  • Film: UFSh 4, width 16 mm, range of sensitivity: 4000-2500 Å, resolution better 130 lines/mm
  • Cartridge capacity: 12m
  • Stabilization: two-stage, inertial
  • First stage: three-axis inertial stabilization of station Salyut 1;
  • Fine guidance: via a star with accuracy 15 arcsec on each axes.
  • Star sensor: of semi-disk (diameter of input: 70 mm; focal length: 450 mm), limiting stellar magnitude 5m.
  • Mass: 170 kg

Orion 2

Orion 2 was installed onboard Soyuz 13
Soyuz 13
Soyuz 13 was a 1973 Soviet manned space flight, the second test flight of the redesigned Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft that first flew as Soyuz 12. The spacecraft was specially modified to carry the Orion 2 Space Observatory...

 in December 1973, a spacecraft modified to become the first manned space observatory. The observatory was operated by crew member Valentin Lebedev
Valentin Lebedev
Valentin Vitaljevich Lebedev was a Soviet cosmonaut who made two flights into space. His stay aboard the Space Station Salyut 7 with Anatoly Berezovoy in 1982, which lasted 211 days, was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records....

. The designer of the observatory was Grigor Gurzadyan
Grigor Gurzadyan
- Life :Gurzadyan was born on October 15, 1922 in Baghdad, to parents who fled in 1915 Western Armenia. Upon graduating the from the Hydrotechnical and Constructional Department of Yerevan Polytechnic Institute in 1944, he became the postgraduate of Victor Ambartsumian, who had just moved to Armenia...

, then at Garni Space Astronomy Laboratory in Armenia. Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

Spectrum analysis
Spectrum, also known as emission spectrochemical analysis, is the original scientific method of charting and analyzing the chemical properties of matter and gases by looking at the bands in their optical spectrum...

 of thousands of stars to as faint as 13th stellar magnitude were obtained by a wide-angle meniscus telescope. The first satellite UV spectrogram of a planetary nebula (IC 2149) was obtained, revealing spectral lines of aluminum and titanium - elements not previously observed in planetary nebulae. Two-photon emission in that planetary nebula and a remarkable star cluster
Star cluster
Star clusters or star clouds are groups of stars. Two types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters, more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally contain less than...

 in Auriga
Auriga (constellation)
Auriga is a constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for 'charioteer' and its stars form a shape that has been associated with the pointed helmet of a charioteer. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains among the 88 modern...

 were also discovered.


  • Telescope: meniscus, Cassegrain
    Cassegrain reflector
    The Cassegrain reflector is a combination of a primary concave mirror and a secondary convex mirror, often used in optical telescopes and radio antennas....

     (-Maksutov) system with an objective prism
  • Primary mirror: 300 mm
  • Focal length: 1000 mm
  • Field of view: 5°
  • Registration of spectrograms: film KODAK 103UV, diameter: 110 mm
  • Spectral resolution: 8-29 Å at 2000-3000 Å
  • Two star sensor sets: each containing a two-coordinate star sensor coaxial to telescope and one-coordinate one, in 45° to telescope axis.
  • Two additional sidereal spectrographs.
  • Three-axes guidance system accuracy: better than 5 arcsec on two cross-sectional axes of telescope (via star А), and better than 30 arcsec at optical axis (star B)
  • Star sensors: input apertures: 80 and 60 mm; focal lengths: 500 and 240 mm; limiting stellar magnitudes: 3.5 and 3.0 m.
  • Mass: 240 kg (telescope: 205 kg)
  • Mass returned to Earth (cartridges): 4.3 kg

External links

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