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Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), renamed Chandra X-ray Observatory, as the nickname of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a nobel price holder which studied evolution of stars.


Designation 25867 / 99040B
Launch date 23 Jul 1999
Country of origin United States
Operator NASA
Mission Scientific: X-ray astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 10000/140000 km
Inclination 28.5°
Period 64 hours
Launch vehicle STS 93 with IUS-27

Designed to observe X-rays from high energy regions of the universe, such as hot gas in the remnants of exploded stars.

The launch was delayed several time, including in Jan 1999 when TRW reported conductivity problems on multi-layered circuit boards.

The satellite is suffering from a build-up of grease on an optical filter in front of one of Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer, blocking almost half the light at some frequencies. A heater might be used in spring 2004 to bakeout the lubricant.

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor TRW
Mass at launch 5200 kg
Mass in orbit  
Dimension 15 m deployed
Solar array 9 m span
DC power  
Design lifetime 5 years

10 m focal length telescope
ACIS: camera with 10 X-ray CCD imagers based on Astro D technology
HRC: camera similar to Rosat technology

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