Project Scientist's Report

Martin Weisskopf

On 2022 May 31, I retired from NASA and, hence, from my role as Chandra Project Scientist—a position I proudly held for nearly 45 years. During this time, I was privileged to participate in building, calibrating, launching, operating, and (even occasionally) using this “scientific cathedral”—as Jeff Kolodziejczak described AXAF when he joined the Project Science Team. The success of Chandra resulted from the efforts of numerous individuals who contributed in various ways throughout the mission. Space and memory prevent me from mentioning everyone with whom I have had the pleasure of working. However, I want to acknowledge a few in particular: Riccardo Giacconi, my inspiration; Harvey Tananbaum, good friend and tireless leader for AXAF/Chandra; Leon Van Speybroeck, outstanding scientist who guided development of the world’s best X-ray telescope; Art Fuchs, Program Executive during the crucial period of getting AXAF started; and the original principal investigators of the instruments that flew on Chandra—Bert Brinkman (LETG), Claude Canizares (HETG), Gordon Garmire (ACIS), and Steve Murray (HRC), whom I miss terribly (and still regret “borrowing” his M&Ms).

I also gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the project managers and engineers with whom I worked at MSFC—especially, Fred Wojtalik, Jean Oliver, Max Rosenthal, Bill Taylor, and Ken Stephens—and of the MSFC Directors who steadfastly supported the Chandra mission and Project Science— particularly, J. R. Thompson, who wisely decided that one NASA Center should manage all aspects of a Mission. For making my job so much easier, I sincerely thank the members of the MSFC Project Science Team and the many dedicated and talented scientists and engineers supporting the Chandra X-ray Center and the Chandra instruments.

Finally, I want to praise the thousands of you who have used Chandra to advance your scientific research. Thank you for fulfilling the promise of Chandra and then some. Keep it up! In my new position as a NASA Emeritus, I know that I shall continue using Chandra in my research.

Thanks to everyone who has made Chandra the outstanding success it is!