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The Astro-2 Mission

The three UV telescopes that were flown on Astro-1 were reassembled to form the Astro-2 Observatory. The Astro-2 Spacelab mission launched on the space shuttle Endeavour on 2 March 1995, for a 16-1/2 day mission that was nearly twice as long as Astro-1. Increased observation time, coupled with technical improvements to HUT and the Instrument Pointing System, enabled HUT scientists to gather 5 times more data than they did during Astro-1. In all, HUT was used to make 385 science pointings at 260 unique astronomical targets during Astro-2.

HUT's science program for Astro-2 was a combination of expanding on results from Astro-1 and breaking new ground. Seldom in astronomy do observations of one or two objects provide a truly general understanding of a whole class. By observing more active galaxies, elliptical galaxies, cataclysmic variables and nebulae, Astro-2 HUT observations provided a much broader understanding of the phenomena involved in these objects. Also, HUT's improved sensitivity for Astro-2 made it possible to observe objects that were too faint previously, permitting whole new science programs to be pursued.

A description of some preliminary science results from Astro-2 is available.

The Astro-2 flight crew piloted the shuttle and operated the telescopes in orbit. Click for more information about the crew.
HUT had a team of nearly 30 Scientific and Technical Personnel supporting the telescope and the flight crew during the flight.