AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 2 History of Space Science
HAD Special Session, Sunday, 2:00-5:00pm, January 8, 2006, Maryland C

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[2.01] The Orbiting Astronomical Observatories

N. G. Roman (Chevy Chase, MD)

The effects of the atmosphere on astronomical observations had frustrated astronomers for a long time. Therefore, the possibility of avoiding these problems with the opening of the space age excited many. Tousey obtained the first spectrum of the sun in the ultraviolet in 1946 but almost 20 years elapsed before satisfactory observations were obtained from space of stars. The success awaited the development of a three-axis stabilization system that could hold the telescope pointed at a star for the relatively long times required for much fainter objects. Many other technical problems had to be solved before the first successful satellite observations of stars and galaxies were obtained in 1968.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
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