The ASTERIX spectrometer has been used to study the formation and the ground state of the pp atom and exclusive final states of pp annihilation at rest in a H2 gas target at NTP, using antiprotons from the Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR) at CERN. The article describes the mechanical construction of the apparatus, the trigger logic, the chamber readout, and the data acquisition system. The detector calibration and the offline processing of the 55 million reconstructed events are illustrated. An overview is given about the new physics results obtained by the experiment. © 1990.