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Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) Prelaunch Mission Operations Report (MOR)The NASA Astrophysics Program is an endeavor to understand the origin and fate of the universe, to understand the birth and evolution of the large variety of objects in the universe, from the most benign to the most violent, and to probe the fundamental laws of physics by examining their behavior under extreme physical conditions. These goals are pursued by means of observations across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and through theoretical interpretation of radiations and fields associated with astrophysical systems. Astrophysics orbital flight programs are structured under one of two operational objectives: (1) the establishment of long duration Great Observatories for viewing the universe in four major wavelength regions of the electromagnetic spectrum (radio/infrared/submillimeter, visible/ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma ray), and (2) obtaining crucial bridging and supporting measurements via missions with directed objectives of intermediate or small scope conducted within the Explorer and Spacelab programs. Under (1) in this context, the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is one of NASA's four Great Observatories. The other three are the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for the visible and ultraviolet portion of the spectrum, the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) for the X-ray band, and the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) for infrared wavelengths. GRO's specific mission is to study the sources and astrophysical processes that produce the highest energy electromagnetic radiation from the cosmos. The fundamental physical processes that are known to produce gamma radiation in the universe include nuclear reactions, electron bremsstrahlung, matter-antimatter annihilation, elementary particle production and decay, Compton scattering, synchrotron radiation. GRO will address a variety of questions relevant to understanding the universe, such as: the formation of the elements; the structure and dynamics of the Galaxy; the nature of pulsars; the existence of black holes; the possible existence of large amounts of antimatter, energetic and explosive phenomena occurring in galactic nuclei; the origin of the cosmic diffuse background; particle acceleration in the Sun, stars and stellar systems; processes in supernovae; and the origin and evolution of the universe itself.
Document ID
Document Type
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
March 11, 1991
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles and Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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