Launch of NASA's nuSTAR mission postponed

March 19, 2012
Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit. NuSTAR has a 33-foot (10-meter) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

( -- The planned launch of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has been postponed after a March 15 launch status meeting. The launch will be rescheduled to allow additional time to confirm the flight software used by the launch vehicle's flight computer will issue commands to the rocket as intended.

The spacecraft will lift off on an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket, which will be released from an aircraft taking off from the Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The time required to complete the software review has moved NuSTAR beyond the March timeframe currently available on the range at Kwajalein. In the interim, NASA will coordinate with the launch site to determine the earliest possible launch opportunity. This is expected to be within the next two months.

NuSTAR will use advanced optics and detectors, allowing astronomers to observe the high-energy X-ray sky with much greater sensitivity and clarity than any mission flown before. The mission will advance our understanding of how structures in the universe form and evolve. It will observe some of the hottest, densest and most energetic objects in the universe, including black holes, their high-speed , ultra-dense , supernova remnants and our sun.

NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by the California Institute of Technology and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, both in Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Explore further: NASA Restarts Telescope Mission to Detect Black Holes

More information: For more information, visit and .

Related Stories

NASA's NuSTAR ships to Vandenberg for March 14 launch

January 25, 2012

( -- NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Tuesday, to be mated to its Pegasus launch vehicle. The observatory will detect X-rays from objects ...

NuSTAR spacecraft arrives in California

January 30, 2012

( -- NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Friday morning after a cross-country trip by truck from the Orbital Sciences Corporation's ...

NuSTAR mated to its rocket

February 20, 2012

( -- NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is being mated, or attached, to its Pegasus XL rocket today at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California.

Engineers tuck nuSTAR in its nose cone

March 5, 2012

( -- Technicians at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California are placing the two halves of the rocket nose cone, or fairing, around NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), in preparation ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space-station resupply missions to relaunch

November 29, 2015

NASA's commercial space program returns to flight this week as one of its private cargo haulers, Orbital ATK, is to launch its first supply shipment to the International Space Station in more than 13 months.

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.