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For release: 08/29/03
Satellite release #: 03-147

Attention: Early Morning Producer
Friday, Sept. 5
6-10 a.m. EDT
Free 10-minute windows--with B-roll

NASA'S Chandra X-ray Observatory marks four years of amazing space discovery

  • Four years ago, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory began operation and has been orbiting Earth ever since, capturing dramatic, never-before-seen-images.

  • Delivered to space by the Space Shuttle in 1999, Chandra was the largest and heaviest Shuttle payload in history - the length of a bus weighing 6 tons.

  • It travels one-third of the way to the Moon during its egg-shaped, Earth orbit every 64 hours.

  • Shedding new light on black holes, Chandra has recently observed the life-cycle of X-ray jets produced by a black hole, and revealed two large black holes in the nucleus of a bright galaxy.

  • Over the past 12 months, Chandra also discovered a spectacular jet in the Vela pulsar that whips like an uncontrolled fire hose at about half the speed of light.

  • Through Chandra, scientists received their first look at X-ray images of Mars' upper atmosphere.

  • One scientist has devoted almost 30 years of his life and career to the Chandra project.

  • Talk with him about the latest discoveries, and what lies ahead for Chandra.

Who: Dr. Martin Weisskopf
Chief Scientist, Chandra Program
Marshall Space Flight Center
Satellite coordinates: AMC-9, Transponder 9C,
85 degrees west longitude,
Frequency: 3880 MHz, Audio: 6.8 MHz.

Satellite Interview Information:
Jack Robertson (256) 544-1517

Story Information:
Steve Roy, Media Relations
(256) 544-0034

Visit the Marshall News Center for news media.

Steve Roy
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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