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An image of the AXAF Observatory
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of AXAF Science Center (ASC) operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Contest to Name X-ray Observatory
News story originally written on April 22, 1998

AXAF (Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility) is the most powerful x-ray observatory ever constructed. It is scheduled for launch on December 3, 1998. Once in orbit it will explore the origin of cosmic rays.

NASA is looking for a new name for the AXAF. Here are the details straight from a NASA news release!

Entries should contain the name of a person (not living), place, or thing from history, mythology, or fiction. Contestants should describe in a few sentences why this choice would be a good name for AXAF. The name must not have been used before on space missions by NASA or other organizations or countries.

The grand prize will be a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, to see the launch of the satellite aboard the Space Shuttle. Ten runner-up prizes will be awarded and all entrants will receive an AXAF poster.

Entries also can be mailed to: AXAF Contest, AXAF Science Center, Office of Education and Public Outreach, 60 Garden Street, MS 83, Cambridge, MA 02138. Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than June 30, 1998.

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