|Mission type||Astrophysical research|
|COSPAR ID||1983-020A |
|Mission duration||6 years|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||23 March 1983 12:45UTC|
|Launch site||TYURATAM MISSILE AND SPACE COMPLEX|
|Semi-major axis||108,531 km (67,438 mi)|
|Perigee altitude||30,791.0 km (19,132.6 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||173,530.2 km (107,826.7 mi)|
|Mean motion||0.24281115 rev/day|
|Epoch||19 July 2017 07:25:15 UTC|
Astron was a Soviet spacecraft launched on 23 March 1983 at 12:45:06 UTC, using Proton launcher, which was designed to fulfill an astrophysics mission. It was based on the 4MV spacecraft design and was operational for six years as the largest ultraviolet space telescope during its lifetime. The project was headed by Alexandr Boyarchuk.
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 on Astron.
Among the most important observations by Astron were those of the SN 1987A supernova on March 4–12, 1987 and of Halley's Comet in December, 1985, that allowed a group of Soviet scientists to develop a model of the coma surrounding Halley's Comet.