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NASA’s Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Completes Mission Operations


After 16 years in space, NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) has made its last observation. The satellite provided unprecedented views into the extreme environments around white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.

RXTE sent data from its last science observation to the ground early on Jan. 4. After performing engineering tests, controllers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., successfully decommissioned the satellite on Jan. 5.

RXTE far exceeded its original science goals and leaves astronomers with a scientific bounty for years to come. Data from the mission have resulted in more than 2,200 papers in refereed journals, 92 doctoral theses, and more than 1,000 rapid notifications alerting astronomers around the globe to new astronomical activity.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jan/HQ_12-005_RXTE_Mission_Ends.html

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