Model, Observatory, UV, Orbiting, Astro-1, 1:20


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Exploring the Planets exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a wooden scale model (1:20) of the Astro-1 observatory designed to fly on Space Shuttle in 1986; the observatory included a Field Camera to observe Comet Halley. The three major instruments on Astro-1 included the Hopkins UV Telescope (HUT), the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope and the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment. The Challenger accident led to a four-year delay and removal of the Field Camera because the Comet Halley was no longer in sight. After shuttle flights were resumed, the observatory was installed on the orbiter Columbia with an x-ray telescope in place of the comet imager. On its nine-day flight from December 2 to 11, 1990 the observatory functioned smoothly and made numerous astronomical observations. The full-scale flown HUT (Catalogue # 20010307000) is currently on display in the Explore the Universe gallery, and the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope from Goddard Space Flight Center has also been added to the collection. This scale model is displayed in the Explore the Planets gallery in a section on Comet Halley.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Painted surfaces on wood


Overall: 8 in. tall x 11 in. wide x 15 1/2 in. deep (20.3 x 27.9 x 39.4cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


MODELS-Manned Spacecraft & Parts

Inventory Number