The Chandra X-ray Observatory is the X-ray component of NASA's Great Observatory Program which includes the recently launched Spitzer Infrared Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for observations in the visible, and the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) which, after providing years of useful data has reentered the atmosphere. All these facilities provide, or provided, scientific data to the international astronomical community in response to peer-reviewed proposals for their use. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was the result of the efforts of many academic, commercial, and government organizations primarily in the United States but also in Europe. NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) manages the Project and provides Project Science; Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST - formerly TRW) served as prime contractor responsible for providing the spacecraft, the telescope, and assembling and testing the Observatory; and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) provides technical support and is responsible for ground operations including the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). Telescope and instrument teams at SAO, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the Space Research Institute of the Netherlands (SRON), the Max-Planck Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), and the University of Kiel support also provide technical support to the Chandra Project. We present here a detailed description of the hardware, its on-orbit performance, and a brief overview of some of the remarkable discoveries that illustrate that performance.