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Launch Update

As of this update (2/12/99), NASA has established a provisional launch date of July 9, 1999 for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra was shipped to Kennedy Space Center on February 4 and is now installed in the Vertical Payload Facility. A video feed (updated every 90 seconds) of the Observatory in the VPF can be seen at:

A few printed wire boards of questionable quality in the Spacecraft Command and Telemetry Unit and Interface Unit will be replaced over the next month to increase confidence that Chandra will operate for at least 5 years on-orbit. The ACIS door will be opened in late March and once again 4-6 weeks before launch. Various state-of-health and performance checks are planned over the next several months, as well as integration with the Inertial Upper Stage (needed to carry Chandra much of the way from the Shuttle to its final High Earth Orbit). Updates on Chandra status and launch date can be obtained at:

- Harvey Tananbaum