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For Release: Jan. 14, 1999
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|Team Conducts Dry Run of Chandra X-ray Observatory Launch|
While NASA's newest space telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, is being unveiled in a Southern California ceremony today, the team that will launch and operate it will be participating in a major simulation of liftoff and deployment from consoles in Northern California, Alabama, Texas and Massachusetts.
The simulation will allow the team to practice its communications and observatory operations procedures in preparation for the launch of Chandra aboard the Space Shuttle in April. This will be the second of five scheduled joint integrated simulations, and the first to involve the entire launch and operations team.
Controllers and managers from the Chandra prime contractor, TRW, in Redondo Beach, Calif.; NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.; and the Chandra Science Center, Cambridge, Mass. will participate from the observatory control center also in Cambridge, and the Huntsville Operations Support Center at Marshall. Additionally, Shuttle crew members and mission controllers will participate from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Inertial Upper Stage controllers will participate from Onizuka Air Force Station in Sunnyvale, Calif.
The groups will monitor data from many events. These events include a simulated launch, deployment from the Shuttle, and Inertial Upper Stage firings that will help boost the observatory to a higher orbit. The exercise will challenge controllers and managers by presenting a variety of situations and problems to test the teams ability to effectively and rapidly solve them
The Chandra X-ray Observatory,
formerly called the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, is the world's
most powerful X-ray telescope. Scientists believe its ability to see previously
invisible black holes and high-temperature gas clouds give the observatory
the potential to rewrite the books on the structure and evolution of our
universe. The Marshall Center manages the Chandra observatory program
Note to Editors / News
Directors: For an electronic version of this release, digital
images of simulation preparations, or more information, visit Marshall's
News Center on the Web at: