All members of the international astrophysical community are understandably very excited about the upcoming launch of the world's first X-ray telescope that is able to focus on a specific target. The mission is scheduled to takeoff tomorrow, June 13th.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) spacecraft will be carried to space inside the payload fairing of a Pegasus XL rocket developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The delivery system itself will launch for underneath the OSC L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.
The airplane will take off from the Kwajalein Atoll, in the Pacific Ocean, about an hour ahead of releasing the rocket, at 11:30 a.m. EDT (15:30 GMT). The telescope is expected to reach orbit in less than an hour, and to begin relaying telemetry back to Earth right away.
NuSTAR “opens up a new window into the high energy universe,” Space
quotes University of California in Berkeley (UCB) expert and NuSTAR instrument manager, William Craig, as saying.