Thursday, April 7, 2016
25 Years Ago Today: A Great Observatory Is Deployed In Space...
April 7, 1991, Deployment of Breakthrough Gamma-ray Observatory (Press Release)
Twenty-five years ago, NASA launched the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, an astronomical satellite that transformed our knowledge of the high-energy sky. Over its nine-year lifetime, Compton produced the first-ever all-sky survey in gamma rays, the most energetic and penetrating form of light, discovered hundreds of new sources and unveiled a universe that was unexpectedly dynamic and diverse.
In this view, taken on April 7, 1991, from the aft flight deck window of space shuttle Atlantis, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is released by the shuttle's remote manipulator system. Visible on the observatory as it drifts away are the four complement instruments: the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment (bottom); Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL) (center); Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE) (top); and Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) (at four corners).