The telescopes were mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the payload bay of the shuttle (flight STS-67). The Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS), pallets, and avionics were utilized for attachment to the Shuttle and for control and data handling. The IPS provides a stable platform, keeps the telescopes aligned, and provides various pointing and tracking capabilities to the telescopes. The Astro observatory requires both mission specialists and payload specialists to control its operations from the Shuttle aft flight deck. Instrument monitoring and quick-look data analysis are planned for real-time ground operations.
The Guest Observer Program was included for Astro-2. The telescopes observed over 250 astronomical objects before returning to earth after a 16-day flight.