For many years Armenia had leading positions both in astronomy (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO), Viktor Ambartsumian, Beniamin Markarian and other Armenian astronomers) and space technology (Grigor Gurzadian, Hrant Tovmasyan). Particularly, Gurzadyan designed, developed and prepared the first Soviet space observatories, “Orion” and “Orion-2”. Soviet cosmonautics training courses were organized in BAO in 1970-1980s. BAO had and now restored the Department of Applied Astronomy. Currently, on a contractual basis with Russian Space Agency “Roscosmos”, BAO participates in a project to monitor the space debris, according to which 3 small telescopes have been installed in BAO Saravand station. It is also worth noting that Virtual Observatories are of great importance in modern astronomy, when research is performed using all telescopes, different times, different modes, and the results of observations at all electromagnetic waves. The Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO) is part of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and also participates in the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA), where space agencies of the major countries are members.

The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) is one of the main observational centers of the former Soviet Union and is an important observatory with modern facilities in the region. It was founded in 1946 by one of the greatest astrophysicists of the 20th century V. A. Ambartsumian and is well known for its large spectroscopic surveys: First and Second Byurakan Surveys (FBS and SBS), undertaken by B. E. Markarian and his colleagues. BAO hosts a number of medium-size optical telescopes, the most important being the 2.6m classical telescope and 1m Schmidt telescope. BAO holds the Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS, or the Digitized Markarian survey), containing low-dispersion spectra of ~20,000,000 objects, largest number in the world, which is the basis of the Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO), a member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). In 2011, DFBS has been recognized by UNESCO a documentary heritage and has entered its list “Memory of the World”. BAO has several departments related to inter- and multi- disciplinary sciences, such as the research departments of Astrochemistry, Astrobiology and Exoplanets, High-Energy Astrophysics, Astroinformatics, and Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy.

BAO is famous for its meetings and summer schools. 6 IAU meetings (5 Symposia and a Colloquium) have been organized here in 1966, 1986, 1989, 1998, 2001 and 2013. The European Annual Meeting JENAM was organized in Armenia in 2007 with 8 parallel symposia and 6 special sessions. New initiatives and subjects were introduced here related to inter- and multi- disciplinary sciences. The first international conference on CETI was organized here in 1971. The conference “Relation of Astronomy to other Sciences, Culture and Society” was held in 2014. The international symposium “Astronomical Surveys and Big Data” (ASBD) was organized in 2015 with participation of astronomers and computer scientists and another such meeting (ASBD-2) is planned for 2020. An international conference “Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East” supported by UNESCO was organized in 2017. In 2020, Armenia will host the European Astronomy & Astrophysics journal board of directors meeting. In addition, there is a series of Byurakan International Summer Schools (BISS) that started in 2006 and already 6 such schools have been organized in 2006, 2008, 2010 (combined with IAU International School for Young Astronomers, ISYA), 2012, 2016 and 2018. We also have organized ESO-Byurakan International School on Observational Astronomy in 1987.

Since 2015, Armenia and BAO also host an IAU South West and Central Asian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (SWCA ROAD). In frame of this initiative, a number of activities are being held, including regional workshops, conferences for young astronomers, summer schools, exchange of young astronomers, etc.