Chandra Observatory and Operations Control Center

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Overview

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999. Chandra was originally known as the Advanced X-Ray Astronomy facility (AXAF) but was renamed in honor of the world-renown theoretical astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar just before launch. The telescope observes X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe, and, most significantly, is capable of imaging x-ray sources to a resolution not heretofore achieved.

The Chandra X-Ray Operations Control Center (CXC) is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), and staffed by personnel from SAO, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and TRW. The CXC is responsible for all mission planning and science operations for the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, including the peer-reviewed determination of who can get observing time on the instrument. Its Operations Control Center (see panorama) directs the flight and executes the observing plan of the observatory. It also receives the scientific data from the orbiting instrument and provides processing and analysis support for users from the scientific community.