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Chandra Fellows Named

February 18,1999

CXC PR: 99-01

Six scientists have been chosen as Fellows of the second annual Chandra X-ray Observatory Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The fellowships are open to recent astronomy and astrophysics graduates worldwide. This year's winners will work for three years at a host astronomical institution in the United States where they will research problems broadly related to the scientific mission of the Chandra Observatory. The Chandra X-ray Observatory Fellowship Program is a joint venture between NASA and the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center in cooperation with the host institutions.

The 1999 Fellows are: Markus Boettcher, a graduate of Bonn University, whose host institution will be Rice University; Jimmy Irwin, a graduate of the University of Virginia, will be hosted by the University of Michigan; Kristen Menou, a graduate of the University of Paris, will be hosted by Princeton University; Eliot Quataert, a graduate of Harvard University, will be hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study; Rudy Wijnands, a graduate of the University of Amsterdam, will be hosted by MIT; and Amy Barger, a graduate of Cambridge University, is a Fellow at large at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

The Chandra Fellowship Program attracted forty-five applicants from eleven countries. A member of the review panel commented, "I found it extremely difficult to choose between the many excellent entries."

"We are very pleased with the response to the program, and I am confident that the work of these fellows will enhance our understanding of the scientific problems to be explored by the Chandra X-ray Observatory," said Nancy Remage Evans, coordinator of the Fellowship Program.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, formerly know as AXAF, will provide stunning new images and data of the extremely hot, active regions in the universe. Such regions exist where stars have exploded, where matter is swirling into black holes, and where clusters of galaxies are merging.

A tentative launch date of July 9, 1999 has been set by NASA for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-93, commanded by astronaut Eileen Collins will carry the telescope into a low circular orbit of Earth. There the astronauts will deploy the Chandra spacecraft, which will then fire two Boeing Inertial Upper Stage solid motors in succession to place Chandra in a highly elliptical orbit. This orbit will be fine-tuned by the spacecraft's integral propulsion system made by TRW, until it reaches its final height of 10,000 km by 140,000 km.

Further information about the Chandra X-ray Observatory is available at the World Wide Web at

Further information about the Fellowship program is available at

NASA TV on the web


Wallace Tucker
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center,
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory,
Cambridge, MA
(Phone: 617.496.7998)

Nancy Evans
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center,
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Cambridge, MA
(Phone: 617.495.7146)