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Inertial Upper Stage

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster is moved toward a workstand in Kennedy Space Center's Vertical Processing Facility. The IUS will be mated with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and then undergo testing to validate the IUS/Chandra connections and check the orbiter avionics interfaces. Following that, an end-to-end test (ETE) will be conducted to verify the communications path to Chandra, commanding it as if it were in space. With the world's most powerful X-ray telescope, Chandra will allow scientists from around the world to see previously invisible black holes and high-temperature gas clouds, giving the observatory the potential to rewrite the books on the structure and evolution of our universe. Chandra is scheduled for launch July 22 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia, on mission STS-93.

Chandra Intertial Upper Stage booster