Deployed on July 23, 1999, from the Space Shuttle Columbia, the Chandra
X-ray Observatory is one of NASA's four "Great Observatories" and its
flagship mission for X-ray astronomy. Today, the science and flight
operations of the Chandra X-ray Observatory are directed for NASA from
SAO in Cambridge from the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). The Operations
Control Center (OCC), under the direction of NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center, is also part of the CXC.
Solar-B, now renamed Hinode (the Japanese word for "sunrise") was
launched on September 23, 2006, from Kyushu, Japan. Onboard the
satellite was the X-Ray Telescope (XRT), a high-resolution grazing
incidence telescope, designed and developed by a Japan-U.S.
collaboration, which included SAO, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center,
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the National Astronomical
Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).
The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery satellite, is designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone for life. CfA was responsible for preparing the Kepler Input Catalog, which is being used by the mission to select optimum targets. CfA will also be involved in follow-up observations of interesting candidates identified by Kepler.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory
The Solar Dynamics Observatory, SDO, is the first mission to be launched for NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SAO is a major partner in the mission, having built the four UV/EUV telescopes of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and delivered them to the PI institution, Lockheed Martin. SDO's goal is to understand, driving towards a predictive capability, the solar variations that influence life on Earth and humanity's technological systems by determining how the Sun's magnetic field is generated and structured, and how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere.
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
SAO's Ultraviolet Coronograph Spectrometer (UVCS) is one of a suite of
instruments onboard the international Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
(SOHO) spacecraft. Launched by NASA on December 2, 1995, SOHO combines
12 complementary instruments in a cooperative project between the
European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA to study the sun and the solar
Spitzer Space Telescope
The last of NASA's Great Observatories, the Space Infrared Telescope
Facility (SIRTF), was launched August 25, 2003, and later renamed the
Spitzer Space Telescope, in honor of the late Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr. One
of three instruments onboard is the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC), a
joint project of SAO, Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center,
the University of Arizona, and the University of Rochester.