Project Scientist's Report

Martin C. Weisskopf

As Chandra is now in its 22nd year of operation, changes in personnel are inevitable. We gratefully acknowledge Belinda Wilkes for her tenure as the second CXC Director, following Harvey Tannenbaum, and wish her well. Correspondingly, we welcome Patrick Slane as the third CXC Director and look forward to continue working with him in his new role. Within Project Science (PS), Doug Swartz has been promoted to Assistant Project Scientist and Steven Ehlert, to Assistant Deputy Project Scientist. Amongst other duties Doug will represent PS in supporting the CXC Director in selection of ToOs and use of DDT; Steven will provide PS input and oversight for Chandra press and image releases.

Needless to say, COVID-19 restrictions have impacted the way the Chandra Team and MSFC function, as most of us — including Project Science — continue to telework. The Chandra Team successfully adapted to this virtual environment and dealt effectively with the recent HRC anomaly and return to science. Fortunately, solar weather has remained quiet, as Solar Cycle 25 “officially” began in 2019 December. In addition, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center continues to provide real-time space-weather data from NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), which is invaluable in helping to protect Chandra’s front-illuminated CCDs from further radiation degradation. We note that ACE is a couple years older than Chandra and continues to operate with most instruments fully functional.