2014 marks the crystal (15th) anniversary of the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which began its existence as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF). This paper offers some of the major lessons learned by some of the key members of the Chandra Telescope team. We offer some of the lessons gleaned from our experiences developing, designing, building and testing the telescope and its subsystems, with 15 years of hindsight. Among the topics to be discussed are the early developmental tests, known as VETA-I and VETA-II, requirements derivation, the impact of late requirements and reflection on the conservatism in the design process.
A 43cm diameter stacked core mirror demonstrator was interferometrically tested at room temperature down to 250 degrees Kelvin for thermal deformation. The 2.5m radius of curvature spherical mirror assembly was constructed by low temperature fusing three abrasive waterjet core sections between two CNC pocket milled face sheets. The 93% lightweighted Corning ULE® mirror assembly represents the current state of the art for future UV, optical, near IR space telescopes. During the multiple thermal test cycles, test results of interferometric test, thermal IR images of the front face were recorded in order to validate thermal optical model.