Launch of NASA's nuSTAR mission postponed

Mar 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

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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: SpaceX close to figuring out rocket failure during launch

More information: For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/nustar and www.nustar.caltech.edu/ .

Related Stories

NuSTAR mated to its rocket

Feb 20, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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

Mar 05, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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), ...

NuSTAR spacecraft arrives in California

Jan 30, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 ...

NASA's NuSTAR ships to Vandenberg for March 14 launch

Jan 25, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 ...

Recommended for you

What is the newest planet?

6 hours ago

With astronomers discovering new planets and other celestial objects all the time, you may be wondering what the newest planet to be discovered is. Well, that depends on your frame of reference. If we are ...

Catching Earth at aphelion

6 hours ago

Do you feel a littleā€¦ distant today? The day after the 4th of July weekend brings with it the promise of barbecue leftovers and discount fireworks. It also sees our fair planet at aphelion, or its farthest ...

Opportunity's 7th Mars winter to include new study area

7 hours ago

Operators of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity plan to drive the rover into a valley this month where Opportunity will be active through the long-lived rover's seventh Martian winter, examining outcrops ...

User comments : 0

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.