Published On: Thu, Jun 14th, 2012

NASA successfully launches NuStar x-ray satellite

An artist's concept of the NuSTAR satellite in orbit with its long Tinkertoy-like mast fully extended. X-ray-sensitive mirrors are located at one end of the mast while digital detectors, a solar panel and spacecraft electronics are located at the other. Photo/NASA

A small X-ray telescope was launched into orbit by an air-launched Pegasus XL rocket Wednesday.

This is the first step in an ambitious low-cost missions to study supermassive black holes believed to be lurking at the cores of galaxies like Earth’s Milky Way and probe the creation of heavy elements in the cataclysmic death throes of massive stars, Reuters reports.

The Pegasus/NuSTAR mission originated from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll, which is a part of the Marshall Islands in the mid-Pacific Ocean. Following a one-hour preplanned positioning flight, the Pegasus rocket was released from Orbital’s L-1011 carrier aircraft at approximately noon EST.

The successful launch by the Pegasus rocket was the 27th consecutive successful mission for the Pegasus programover a 15-year period and the 41st overall flight of the company’s unique air-launched system since its introduction in 1990.

“We are very pleased to support NASA and JPL on this important scientific project,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group.

“The NuSTAR program is another ‘dual’ mission for our launch vehicle and satellite engineering teams, building on our history of supporting successful NASA scientific programs such as AIM, GALEX, SORCE, ACRIMSAT and IBEX with our launch vehicles and satellite platforms.”  

  • For more information about the Pegasus rocket, please visit: 



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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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