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They Have Returned, And Thanks!

July 28, 1999 ::

Columbia landing
Shuttle Columbia landing at KSC
Photo: NASA

The STS-93 mission astronauts, led by Col. Eileen Collins have returned safely to Kennedy Space Center. They carried the giant Chandra X-ray Observatory into space where it is now being boosted toward its final orbit. Everyone at the Smithsonian Chandra Center along with thousands of others who helped build this superb telescope, applaud the skill, dedication, and courage of the crew. Thanks for making this first and most crucial step.

"Something very special happened four days ago. The Chandra X-ray Observatory will help us to put in place of lot of pieces of the puzzle about black holes, quasars, and dark matter." Cady Coleman.

"To be alive when we answer some of these questions (the age of the universe, the energy source for quasars, whether black holes exist), and to know that we played a small role in making that possible is extremely satisfying." Mission specialist and astrophysicist Steve Hawley.

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