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STS 93



The primary objective of the STS 93 mission was to deploy the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility. AFAX was the most sophisticated X-ray observatory ever built. It was designed to observe X-rays from high energy regions of the universe, such as hot gas in the remnants of exploding stars. It was renamed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. "Chandra" also means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit.

Other payloads on STS 93 were: Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX); Shuttle Ionospheric Modification with Pulsed Local Exhaust (SIMPLEX); Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System (SWUIS); Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research (GOSAMR); Space Tissue Loss-B (STL-B); Light Weight Flexible Solar Array Hinge (LFSAH); Cell Culture Module (CCM); Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II); EarthKam; Plant Growth Investigations in Microgravity (PGIM); Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA); Micro-Electrical Mechanical System (MEMS); and the Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC).

This mission also featured the first female shuttle commander, Eileen Collins.

Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center on July 27, 1999 at 11:20 EDT.

The crew consisted of the following: Eileen M. Collins - Mission Commander; Jeffrey S. Ashby - Pilot; Steven A. Hawley - Mission Specialist; Catherine G. Coleman - Mission Specialist; Michel Tognini(CNES) - Mission Specialist.

Alternate Names

  • 25866
  • STS93

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1999-07-23
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Engineering
  • Life Science
  • Human Crew
  • Astronomy
  • Microgravity

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office


Related Information/Data at NSSDCA


Other Sources of STS 93 Information/Data

STS 93 information (NASA Shuttle Web)
STS 93 information (NASA KSC)

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