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Satellite, Astrophysics, Granat, Commemorative

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Collection Item Summary:

This is a desktop model of the Soviet Granat astrophysics satellite. The formal name of the spacecraft was the International Astrophysical Observatory, but it is known by the Russian word, Granat, which means pomegranate. Soviet, French, Danish and Bulgarian scientists participated in the design and construction of the observatory and its seven major instruments. The Soviet Union launched the satellite on 1 December 1989 on board a Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan. Granat's orbit was highly elliptical and it took for days for the satellite to orbit the Earth. The instruments conducted their observations when the space vehicle was furthest from the Earth. Granat's instruments were designed to observe energies between x-rays and gamma rays.

The spacecraft itself was a three-axis stabilized craft and built on the Venera-class base that the production company, NPO Lavochkin, had designed. The most famous spacecraft on this base was the Vega, which was the probe that the Soviets sent to the planet Venus and Comet Halley in 1986. Granat continued to operate for five years, outlasting the USSR. At that time, the craft had depleted the gas necessary to turn the craft and point it properly. It stopped transmitting all signals in 1998.

The director of NPO Lavochkin donated this model to the museum when the museum was negotiating for a loan of a full-scale engineering model of the Vega spacecraft during the early 1990s.

Collection Item Long Description:

This is a desktop model of the Soviet Granat astrophysics satellite. The formal name of the spacecraft was the International Astrophysical Observatory, but it is known by the Russian word, Granat, which means pomegranate. Soviet, French, Danish and Bulgarian scientists participated in the design and construction of the observatory and its seven major instruments. The Soviet Union launched the satellite on 1 December 1989 on board a Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan. Granat's orbit was highly elliptical and it took for days for the satellite to orbit the Earth. The instruments conducted their observations when the space vehicle was furthest from the Earth. Granat's instruments were designed to observe energies between x-rays and gamma rays.

The spacecraft itself was a three-axis stabilized craft and built on the Venera-class base that the production company, NPO Lavochkin, had designed. The most famous spacecraft on this base was the Vega, which was the probe that the Soviets sent to the planet Venus and Comet Halley in 1986. Granat continued to operate for five years, outlasting the USSR. At that time, the craft had depleted the gas necessary to turn the craft and point it properly. It stopped transmitting all signals in 1998.

The director of NPO Lavochkin donated this model to the museum when the museum was negotiating for a loan of a full-scale engineering model of the Vega spacecraft during the early 1990s.

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

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

Credit Line

Gift of Lavochkin Scientific Production Association

Materials

  • Base - Painted Metal
  • Overall - Metal

Dimensions

Overall: 35.24 x 5.88 x 4.31cm (1ft 1 7/8in. x 2 5/16in. x 1 11/16in.)

Country of Origin

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Type

MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts

Inventory Number

A19940075000

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