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The Chandra X-ray Observatory: Current Status and Future Prospects. Martin C. Weisskopf AAS 2011 May 23. Chandra involves and interests the community. 2979 distinct PIs and CoIs in cycles 1-11 ~200 new PIs and Co-Is per year Involved more than 1350 students and postdocs

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Martin c weisskopf aas 2011 may 23

The Chandra X-ray Observatory:

Current Status and Future Prospects

Martin C. Weisskopf

AAS

2011 May 23


Chandra involves and interests the community

  • 2979 distinct PIs and CoIs in cycles 1-11

    • ~200 new PIs and Co-Is per year

  • Involved more than 1350 students and postdocs

  • Averaging over ~500 papers per year

  • Consistantly oversubscribed (>5)






Observatory status

  • Spacecraft is in excellent health – almost in the 13th year

    • Designed for 3 years with a goal of 5

  • All redundant systems are available except one pair of gyro rotors that has been swapped to a backup.

    • One of the switched gyro rotors is fully healthy and the second has reserve life. Chandra can operate with one rotor from each set

  • Thermal insulation has slowly degraded

    • Requires increased pitch restrictions and limits on constrained observations

    • Mission planning has managed impacts


Observatory status – continued

Molecular contamination continues to build up on the ACIS filters


Observatory status

  • There will (no doubt) be new challenges as Chandra ages

  • However, overall observatory performance remains

  • superb

  • No known limitations to > 20-yr mission



The opportunity for exploration and discovery with Chandra remains as high today as it was at launch


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