NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is to offer deeper, crisper images of the sky – and will help NASA hunt down massive black hole, is being prepared for the final journey to its launch pad on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. Image credit: NASA
It is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13.
“We will see the hottest, densest and most energetic objects with a fundamentally new, high-energy X-ray telescope that can obtain much deeper and crisper images than before,” said Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., who first conceived of the mission 20 years ago.
The observatory is perched atop an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket. If the mission passes its Flight Readiness Review on June 1, the rocket will be strapped to the bottom of an aircraft, the L-1011 Stargazer, also operated by Orbital, on June 2.