Q&A: Chandra Mission
I believe incipient breakthroughs to understanding possible
origins, nature, and age of our known universe, were made a short while
ago. If I'm not mistaken, Chandra is the reason for those
breakthroughs. At the time of reading the newspaper, the uniqueness of
that asset wasn't known to me. Dark matter, dark energy and the 4%
remaining: stars, planets and ourselves, make up the fabric of this 17
billion year old existence. I was dazzled when I read that, wanting to
learn more about how we arrived to these conclusions.
Is the above information correct, as I have read in the Houston
Are my assumptions correct, in that Chandra X-ray telescope was the
primary device making these discoveries possible?
What is Chandra's maximum speed? It would seem to
have a sling shot effect with each pass, producing hellish speed and
How does Chandra keep itself aligned in its elliptical orbit,
returning so close to Earth with each pass? Is it trapped in Earths
gravity, needing no propulsion for correction? I'm not certain but
that seems impossible. Isn't it traveling too far out to be pulled
back by the Earth alone?
How far into space does Chandra travel before its return pass and how
long does it take to complete an orbit?
been extremely important in answering the biggest questions about the
universe, but we have had much help in this from other observatories
(including cosmic microwave observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope,
Chandra's biggest contributions thus far have been in understanding the
nature and evolution of our universe. The Hubble Telescope has made
the greatest contributions to our understanding of the age of the
universe, which seems to be about 13.7 billion years old.
We have some other information at
Your specific questions on the Chandra X-ray Observatory will be
answered in the following pages. For a general Chandra overview:
For the speed and orbit travel time:
It is being held in its orbit by the gravity of the Earth, the
orbit is large but not large enough to allow Chandra to escape the
Earth's gravitational pull.
The Chandra Mission pages will also be useful for you: