A mission 20 years in the making is about to culminate with the launch of a one-of-a-kind satellite.
NASA announced today that its NuSTAR telescope could be shot into orbit as early as June 13.
NuSTAR, short for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, will be able to create images of high energy X-rays, making it capable of studying cosmic phenomena such as black holes and how exploding stars form the elements that make up our universe. The new telescope will have 10 times the resolution and 100 times the sensitivity of similar telescopes.
NuSTAR will undergo a flight readiness review on June 1, if it passes that it will be strapped to an aircraft for transport to a launch pad on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. If everything goes according to plan, Orbital Sciences Corp. will shoot NuSTAR into space aboard one of its Pegasus XL rockets.