NASA Extends Chandra Science and Operations Support Contract

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WASHINGTON -- NASA has extended a contract with the Smithsonian
Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., to provide science and
operational support for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a powerful
tool used to better understand the structure and evolution of the

The contract extension with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
provides continued science and operations support to Chandra. This
approximately $172 million modification brings the total value of the
contract to approximately $545 million for the base effort. The base
effort period of performance will continue through Sept. 30, 2013,
except for the work associated with the administration of scientific
research grants, which will extend through Feb. 28, 2016. The
contract type is cost reimbursement with no fee.

In addition to the base effort, the contract includes two options for
three years each to extend the period of performance for an
additional six years. Option 1 is priced at approximately $177
million and Option 2 at approximately $191 million, for a total
possible contract value of about $913 million.

The contract covers mission operations and data analysis, which
includes observatory operations, science data processing and
astronomer support. The operations tasks include monitoring the
health and status of the observatory and developing and uplinking the
observation sequences during Chandra's communication coverage
periods. The science data processing tasks include the competitive
selection, planning and coordination of science observations and
processing and delivery of the resulting scientific data.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala, manages the
Chandra program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in
Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls
Chandra's science and flight operations.

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Source: NASA

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