In the early morning, the payload canister containing the Chandra X-ray Observatory, with umbilical hoses still attached, is lifted up the Rotating Service Structure (RSS). The hoses provide a controlled environment during the transfer. The canister arrived at the pad on the payload canister transporter below it. The canister will be lifted up to the Payload Changeout Room in the RSS where it will be relieved of its cargo. After the RSS rotates to a position behind Space Shuttle Columbia (at right), the observatory will then be installed vertically in the orbiter payload bay. 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 the primary payload on mission STS-93, scheduled to launch no earlier than July 20 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia (right). (Photo Release Date: 06/24/1999 )
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