A review of astronomical satellites, the tools in astronomy which have revolutionized the way we see the Universe, this describes the ways in which astronomy is carried out from space, examining some historic missions which have provided quantum leaps in mankind's ability to observe the Universe. The book commences with an introduction to the basic principles, operational methods and engineering challenges of space astronomy. This is followed by a series of chapters describing the use of satellites for investigating the various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. For each energy band the main types of instruments are described, and several important satellites and their scientific results reviewed. In addition, various smaller missions are summarized, and a guide is provided to further reading. Each chapter concludes with details of future missions already approved and due for launch in the next few years. The final chapter examines some possibilities for astronomical satellites of the next century including instruments attached to space stations and installed on the Moon.
By bringing together information on missions which have explored different energy bands, the author combines a history of space astronomy with valuable refernce materials to dates, launch vehicles, prime instrumentation, mission objectives, operational lifetimes and scientific achievements.
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