STS093 S-001
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STS093 (S)-001

June 15, 2011
The STS-93 mission patch, as designed by the five crew members. The STS-93 mission will carry the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) into low Earth orbit initiating its planned five-year astronomy mission. AXAF is the third of NASA's great observatories, following the Hubble Space Telescope and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. AXAF will provide scientists an order-of-magnitude improvement over current capabilities at X-ray wavelengths. Observations of X-ray emissions from energetic galaxies and clusters, as well as black holes, promise to greatly expand current understanding of the origin and evolution of our universe. The STS-93 patch depicts AXAF separating from the Space Shuttle Columbia after a successful deployment. A spiral galaxy is shown in the background as a possible target for AXAF observations. The two flags represent the international crew, consisting of astronauts from both the United States and France. The NASA insignia design for Shuttle flights is reserved for use by the astronauts and for other official use as the NASA Administrator may authorize. Public availability has been approved only in the form of illustrations by the various news media. When and if there is any change in this policy, which we do not anticipate, it will be publicly announced.

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