NASA Preparing To Launch Its Newest X-Ray Eyes | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 08.10.17

Airborne 08.14.17

Airborne 08.15.17

Airborne 08.16.17

Airborne 08.17.17

Airborne 08.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 08.15.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 08.10.17

Airborne 08.14.17

Airborne 08.15.17

Airborne 08.16.17

Airborne 08.17.17

Airborne 08.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 08.15.17

NEW!!! 2017 AirVenture Innovation Preview -- YouTube Presentation / Vimeo Presentation

Mon, Jun 04, 2012

NASA Preparing To Launch Its Newest X-Ray Eyes

NuSTAR Scheduled For Lift Off From Kwajalein Atoll In June

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is being prepared for the final journey to its launch pad on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. The mission will study everything from massive black holes to our own sun. 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 (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA, 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. The Stargazer is scheduled to fly from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California to Kwajalein June 5-6. On launch day, the Stargazer will take off and at around 1130 EDT (0830 PDT) will drop the rocket, which will then ignite and carry NuSTAR to a low orbit around Earth.

"NuSTAR uses several innovations for its unprecedented imaging capability and was made possible by many partners," said Yunjin Kim, the project manager for the mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. "We're all really excited to see the fruition of our work begin its mission in space."

NuSTAR will be the first space telescope to create focused images of cosmic X-rays with the highest energies. These are the same types of X-rays that doctors use to see your bones and airports use to scan your bags. The telescope will have more than 10 times the resolution, and more than 100 times the sensitivity, of its predecessors while operating in a similar energy range.

The mission will work with other telescopes in space now, including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which observes lower-energy X-rays. Together, they will provide a more complete picture of the most energetic and exotic objects in space, such as black holes, dead stars and jets traveling near the speed of light.

"NuSTAR truly demonstrates the value that NASA's research and development programs provide in advancing the nation's science agenda," said Paul Hertz, NASA's Astrophysics Division director. "Taking just over four years from receiving the project go-ahead to launch, this low-cost Explorer mission will use new mirror and detector technology that was developed in NASA's basic research program and tested in NASA's scientific ballooning program. The result of these modest investments is a small space telescope that will provide world-class science in an important but relatively unexplored band of the electromagnetic spectrum."

NuSTAR will study black holes that are big and small, far and near, answering questions about the formation and physics behind these wonders of the cosmos. The observatory will also investigate how exploding stars forge the elements that make up planets and people, and it will even study our own sun's atmosphere. The observatory is able to focus the high-energy X-ray light into sharp images because of a complex, innovative telescope design. High-energy light is difficult to focus because it only reflects off mirrors when hitting at nearly parallel angles. NuSTAR solves this problem with nested shells of mirrors. It has the most nested shells ever used in a space telescope, 133 in each of two optic units. The mirrors were molded from ultra-thin glass similar to that found in laptop screens and glazed with even thinner layers of reflective coating.

The telescope also consists of state-of-the-art detectors and a lengthy 33-foot (10-meter) mast, which connects the detectors to the nested mirrors, providing the long distance required to focus the X-rays. This mast is folded up into a canister small enough to fit atop the Pegasus launch vehicle. It will unfurl about seven days after launch. About 23 days later, science operations will begin. (NASA Image)

FMI: www.nasa.gov/nustar

Advertisement

More News

AMA Drone Report 08.10.17: AMA Gov't Outreach, Nat'l Model Av Day, Lego Drones

Also: Volaero Tracks Pythons, Army v DJI, Snap Acquiring Drone?, Orlando Backs Down There’s no rest for the folks at AMA that deal with the politics that comes with flying ho>[...]

RFP: ANN Seeking New Site/Facility For Major Studio Upgrade

It's Official: Aggressive Upgrades For New Airborne Programs WILL Require New Digs It's been in development for years, but we're getting to a point where we think we can pull off s>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 08.15.17: Reno Drone Races, DoD CrackDown, Blue Angels v UAV?

Also: Kansas DOT-AirMap, CIRRUAS Drone Program, Daytona Beach PD UAS, Virginia UAS SAR The Reno Air Racing Association has signed an agreement with the MultiGP Drone Racing League >[...]

Airborne 08.16.17: Skydive Myrtle Beach Update, WWII Mosquito, USMC Op Reset

Also: New Legend, FAA’s Earl Lawrence, NFL 767s, Boeing Board, Singapore Airlines, NE Drones, Stuart Jet Ctr Horry County, SC government officials have has reversed their sto>[...]

Airborne 08.15.17: Lycoming AD, Reno Drone Racing!, Santa Monica NIMBYs

Also: Icon A5 Accident, Aero-Calendar, Land Remote Sensing, Storm Aviation, Frontier, World Helicopter Day, Hubble The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the connec>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC