Nine years ago this week, Chandra was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia (sadly lost in the tragedy of 2003). While the satellite has performed excellently since it was deployed on July 23, 1999, there was a little drama in getting it going. You can read about some of the angst-inducing moments in the days leading up to launch in our Chandra Chronicles from that time.

Chandra spacecraft

Thankfully, the astronauts brought their video camera with them so we are all able to experience the deployment of the spacecraft from the cargo bay. As you probably know, Chandra is now happily in a highly elliptical orbit that takes it as far as one-third of the distance to the Moon, but it took several firings from its booster rockets to get it there. Because the spacecraft is out of the Earth's radiation belt a majority of the time, this unusual orbit helps the staff at the Chandra X-ray Center maximize the amount of observing time for the telescope.

Congratulations to everyone who put in all of their hard work before, during and after launch into making Chandra such a success.

puzzling pictures from Chandra

Send a Chandra E-card

-Megan Watzke, CXC


I was in Himalaya few months

I was in Himalaya few months ago and got hooked on stars. They are so close there. So it seems.
BDW i love the site and will come back to read a lot of interesting stuff. Do you have any great pictures of stars i could use for a desktop screen. If you do can you please sent me one or two. Thanks.

Desktop backgrounds

We do have desktop backgrounds of stars and star clusters available in numerous sizes here:

K.Arcand, CXC

Thanks for the information

Thanks so much for the information. I'm studying physics at university in UK, I would love to be a part of something like this one day.

These 9 Years

I've been following Chandra for the last five years, and I must say that it has been a wonderful experience. Sadly I am not and I will never be a part of your team, but I guess this kind of support counts also.

Keep up the good work!

Shay Teagan

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