The Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO), formerly known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), is a flagship space telescope launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia during NASA's STS-93 on July 23, 1999. Chandra is 100 times weaker than any previous X-ray telescope, thanks to the high angular resolution of its mirrors. Because the Earth's atmosphere absorbs the vast majority of X-rays, they are not detectable from terrestrial telescopes; space telescopes are therefore needed to make these observations. Chandra is an Earth satellite in a 64-hour orbit, and its mission continues from 2020.
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