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The Orion space telescopes were a series of two instruments flown aboard Soviet spacecraft during the 1970s to conduct ultraviolet spectroscopy of stars.

Orion 1

The Orion 1 space astrophysical observatory was installed in the orbital station Salyut 1. It was designed by Grigor Gurzadyan of Byurakan Observatory in Armenia. It was operated in June 1971 by crew member Viktor Patsayev, who thus became the first man to operate a telescope outside the Earth's atmosphere. Spectrograms of stars Vega and Beta Centauri between wavelengths 2000 and 3800 Å were obtained.[1]


Orion 2

Orion 2 was installed onboard Soyuz 13 in December 1973, a spacecraft modified to become the first manned space observatory. The observatory was operated by crew member Valentin Lebedev. The designer of the observatory was Grigor Gurzadyan, then at Garni Space Astronomy Laboratory in Armenia. Ultraviolet spectrograms of thousands of stars to as faint as 13th stellar magnitude were obtained by a wide-angle meniscus telescope.[2] 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 nebula. Two-photon emission in that planetary nebula and a remarkable star cluster in Auriga were also discovered.[3]



  1. ^ Gurzadyan, G.A; Ohanesyan, J.B. (1972). "Observed Energy Distribution of alpha Lyra and beta Cen at 2000-3800 Å". Nature. 239 (5367): 90. Bibcode:1972Natur.239...90G. doi:10.1038/239090a0.
  2. ^ Gurzadyan, G.A. (1974). "Ultraviolet spectra of Capella". Nature. 250 (5463): 204–205. Bibcode:1974Natur.250..204G. doi:10.1038/250204a0.
  3. ^ Gurzadyan, G.A. (1976). "Two-photon emission in planetary nebula IC 2149". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 88: 891. Bibcode:1976PASP...88..891G. doi:10.1086/130041.
Orion 1 bibliography
Orion 2 bibliography