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NASA extends Chandra telescope operation to 2024

NASA has extended its contract with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Massachusetts to run the Chandra X-ray Observatory through 2024.

In many ways the longevity of both Hubble and Chandra as well as other space telescopes has demonstrated the robustness of much in-space engineering these days. It suggests that when we finally begin building manned interplanetary spaceships we should have confidence they will operate reliably for long periods.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

One comment

  • e franklin

    Ref “It suggests that when we finally begin building manned interplanetary spaceships we should have confidence they will operate reliably for long periods.”
    — Hubble had several assemblies replaced during its life, a luxury nearly no other spacecraft has ever had. It is not a good example of long-life reliability. Other spacecraft from 15 years ago or more _have_ had excellent reliability, but they were produced when electronic parts reliability was pursued much more so than is done today.
    — I have much less confidence in long-life for assemblies produced today. Some will survive a long time – but many won’t. Similarity to a spacecraft assembly that survives very well is no guarantee, as in today’s financial environment an electronic part sold today is not necessarily the same part as sold next week, even with the identical part number.

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