NASA has awarded a contract extension to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to continue operations and science support for the agency’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The contract extends the agreement between NASA and SAO through Sept. 30, 2024, followed by two three-year options that would extend the contract through Sept. 30, 2030. The total potential value of the contract extension is $563.5 million.
This contract covers continued operation of the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) in Cambridge, which conducts key aspects of Chandra’s observation, operations and research program. Core functions of the CXC include system engineering, ground system development and maintenance, mission operations, science and operations planning, science research and dissemination, and outreach support.
Since its launch on July 23, 1999, Chandra has been NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy and is among NASA’s fleet of Great Observatories. The agencys Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.