Saturday, March 17, 2012

NuSTAR Launch Delayed

The above image is an artist's concept showing the NuSTAR X-ray telescope in orbit. NuSTAR uses two identical optics modules (shown at right) in order to increase sensitivity. The background shows an image of the galactic center as taken from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Image Credit: NASA

The launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has been delayed. Originally scheduled for this month, NASA recently announced that the March 13 "flight readiness review" was rescheduled in order to allow additional time to confirm the validity of the flight computer software used by the launch.The extra time to complete the software review means that the $165 million spacecraft won't be able to lift off this month as planned, but space agency officials expect it to be ready to launch in the next two months.

The NuSTAR mission will deploy the first pair of orbital telescopes to image the sky in the high energy X-ray (6 - 79 keV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. NuSTAR will study black holes and other high-energy puzzles in our universe. NuSTAR will be launched into a low-Earth, near-equatorial orbit on a Pegasus XL rocket from the Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. To learn more about the NuSTART mission, visit this site:

NASA/Caltech NuSTAR Mission


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