Q: Where did the name "Chandra" originate?
A: NASA's premier X-ray observatory was named the Chandra X-ray Observatory in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (pronounced: su/bra/mon'/yon chandra/say/kar). Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), he was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century.
The name was chosen prior to launch in 1999 through a contest that attracted from 6,000 entries from fifty states and sixty-one countries.
For more information on Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, go to: http://chandra.harvard.edu/about/chandra.html