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An image of the AXAF Observatory
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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.

Contest rules, electronic entry forms, and additional information can be found on the Internet.

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. All entries must state a name for the mission, along with the reason the name would make a good choice. Good Luck!

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