January 3rd, 2010
NASA Smithsonian Culls Chandra Contract
NASA has extended a contract with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to provide science and operational support for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The contract extension provides continued science and operations support to Chandra.
This approximately US$172 million modification brings the total value of the contract to approximately US$545 million for the base effort, which will continue through September 30, 2013, save for the work associated with the administration of scientific research grants, which will extend through February 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 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.