Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Selects New Name And Sets New Launch Date For Advanced Space X-Ray Telescope

Date:
December 23, 1998
Source:
Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA today (Dec. 21) set a new launch date for the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, and announced that it will be renamed the Chandra X-ray Observatory in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

NASA today (Dec. 21) set a new launch date for the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, and announced that it will be renamed the Chandra X-ray Observatory in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

Related Articles


The Chandra X-ray Observatory will be shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on or before January 28 and launched no earlier than April 8, 1999. The launch date will be subject to the actual shipping date and the results of a mid-February independent review of the progress towards preparing the operations center in Cambridge, Mass., for launch.

Chandra will be carried to space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-93, commanded by astronaut Eileen Collins. The shipment of the spacecraft was delayed in mid-October so the prime contractor, TRW Space and Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, Calif., could complete testing on flight software.

"Chandra," a shortened version of Chandrasekhar's name, which he preferred among friends and colleagues, was chosen in a contest to rename the X-ray telescope. "Chandra" also means "Moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit. The winners are a high school student in Laclede, Idaho, and a teacher in Camarillo, Calif.

"Chandrasekhar made fundamental contributions to the theory of black holes and other phenomena that the Chandra X-ray Observatory will study. His life and work exemplify the excellence that we can hope to achieve with this great observatory," said NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin.

"Chandra probably thought longer and deeper about our universe than anyone since Einstein," said Martin Rees, Great Britain’s Astronomer Royal.

Chandrasekhar, widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the 20th century, won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for his theoretical studies of physical processes important to the structure and evolution of stars. He and his wife emigrated from India to the U.S. in 1935. He served on the faculty of the University of Chicago until his death in 1995.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory will help astronomers world-wide better understand the structure and evolution of the universe by studying powerful sources of x-rays such as exploding stars, matter falling into black holes and other exotic celestial objects. X-ray astronomy can only be done from space because Earth's atmosphere blocks x-rays from reaching the surface. Chandra will provide images that are fifty times more detailed than previous x-ray missions. At more than 45 feet in length and weighing more than five tons, it will be one of the largest objects ever placed in Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle.

Tyrel Johnson, a student at Priest River Lamanna High School in Priest River, Idaho, and Jatila van der Veen, a physics and astronomy teacher at Adolfo Camarillo High School, in Camarillo, Calif., submitted the winning name and essays. They will receive a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to view the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a prize donated by TRW. In all, 59 people submitted the name "Chandra." Altogether, the contest drew more than 6,000 entries from all 50 states and 61 countries. The seven members of the selection committee included a top aerospace executive, journalists, scientists and a university professor.

Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra X-ray Observatory program for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) controls science and flight operations of the observatory for NASA from Cambridge, Mass.

— end —

Note to Editors / News Directors: Interviews, photos and video supporting this release are available to media representatives by contacting Dave Drachlis of the Marshall Media Relations Office at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release, digital images or more information, visit Marshall's News Center on the Web at: http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news or http://xrtpub.harvard.edu

For information about S. Chandrasekhar, or comments from his Chicago colleagues, including those who will use the Chandra X-ray Observatory, contact Steve Koppes, University of Chicago, 773/702-8366, or via email at: [email protected]


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA Selects New Name And Sets New Launch Date For Advanced Space X-Ray Telescope." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981222121654.htm>.
Marshall Space Flight Center. (1998, December 23). NASA Selects New Name And Sets New Launch Date For Advanced Space X-Ray Telescope. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981222121654.htm
Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA Selects New Name And Sets New Launch Date For Advanced Space X-Ray Telescope." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981222121654.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) The Geminids meteor shower lights up the skies over the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

AP (Dec. 13, 2014) A U.S. defense satellite launched from California's central coast on Friday after weather delays caused by a major storm that drenched the state. (Dec. 13) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins