At Launch Pad 39B, the payload canister carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory begins its ascent up the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) to the Payload Changeout Room. Umbilical hoses, which maintain a controlled environment for the observatory, are still attached to the payload canister transporter below that transferred the observatory from the Vertical Processing Facility. The observatory will be moved into the payload bay of the Space Shuttle Columbia, seen in the background, after the RSS rotates to a position behind Columbia. The world's most powerful X-ray telescope, Chandra will allow scientists from around the world to see previously invisible black holes and high-temperature gas clouds, giving the observatory the potential to rewrite the books on the structure and evolution of our universe. Chandra is scheduled for launch no earlier than July 20 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia, on mission STS-93. (Photo Release Date: 06/24/1999 )

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STS-93 KSC Photo IndexNext Image KSC-99PP-0765


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