NASA officials announce that their new X-ray space telescope has been successfully delivered to the US Army's Reagan test site, on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The tiny island is located halfway between Hawaii and Australia.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) will be launched to space inside the payload fairing of a Pegasus XL rocket built by Orbital Science Corporation. The delivery system will be dropped from underneath the OSC L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.
The latter (imaged above) will take off from Kwajalein Atoll on June 13, no earlier than 08:30 am PDT (1530 GMT). Once high in the atmosphere, it will drop the Pegasus XL, which will then ignite its own thruster and head out into space.
NuSTAR is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
, in Pasadena, for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, in Washington, DC. The California Institute of Technology, which leads the telescope mission, manages the JPL.