January 12, 1999

Media Invited to View NASA's Newest Observatory

Dave Drachlis, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (Phone: 205/544-0034)

Media to Get Best Chance to View NASA's Newest Great Observatory at California Unveiling Jan. 14

NASA's newest space telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, will be unveiled at a special ceremony Thursday, Jan. 14, at TRW Space and Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, Calif. The event will be held at TRW's Space Park Facility from 9 - 11 a.m. PST.

It will be the only opportunity for media representatives to see and photograph the recently completed observatory before it is covered for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., for launch aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia this spring.

Following the ceremony, the observatory will be placed in protective wrappings for the shipment to Florida. It will remain in its protective covering, obscured from view, until inserted into the Shuttle's payload bay. TRW is NASA's prime contractor for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. NASA and TRW team members will be available for interviews following the unveiling. For more details on the ceremony, contact Brooks McKinney at (310) 814-8177.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, formerly called the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. Scientists believe its ability to see previously invisible black holes and high-temperature gas clouds give the observatory the potential to rewrite the books on the structure and evolution of our universe.

Note to Editors / News Directors: For an electronic version of this release, digital images after the ceremony, or more information, visit Marshall's News Center.

Dave Drachlis, MSFC Media Relations Office