Image: July 23, 1999, Chandra X-ray Observatory awaits deployment

This 70mm frame shows the 50,162-pound Chandra X-ray Observatory before it was tilted upward for its release from the Space Shuttle Columbia's payload bay on July 23, 1999, just a few hours following the shuttle's arrival in Earth orbit. Chandra was spring-ejected from a cradle in the payload bay at 6:47 a.m. Central time. Commander Eileen Collins, the first female Shuttle Commander, maneuvered Columbia to a safe distance away from the telescope as an internal timer counted down to the...

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