NASA to launch powerful telescope array
NuSTAR will have 10 times the resolution and 100 times the sensitivity of similar telescopes.
May 30th, 2012
03:32 PM ET

NASA to launch powerful telescope array

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.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. 萬用行動電源

    I like this publish, enjoyed this one thanks for putting up. "What is a thousand years Time is short for 1 who thinks, endless for one who yearns." by Alain. 萬用行動電源

    June 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  2. Motiur

    randy, dean–i feel you. i'm in southern mecxio right now and i wish so bad i was in the us. right now it all just feels like a good dream. see you dudes in la soon. much love.

    July 1, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  3. santa maria, ca.

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    June 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  4. Mena James

    Black holes exist. You cannot disprove that with the THEORY of relativity, because it is also, not fact. To each his own belief, and mine is: If matter exists (which is does) then there is anti matter. If there is a black hole, there is also a white hole, corresponding on the other side of said black hole. The black hole research has gone hand in hand with the big bang theory which is why scientists are trying to prove existence of such cosmic phenomena. To discover the matter and gases that exist in our universe would disprove and prove so many other theories and statements that are more relevant to our nation than most people would like to believe. Again, to each his own, but I am amazed if this satellite launches what it will bring back for photos. NASA has played such a large role in our technological advances over the decades.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  5. orrery

    Black Holes do not exist. This phenomenon violates Relativity as proven by Albert Einstein in 1939 paper submitted to the Annals of Mathematics. The objects are in facts a cosmic version of the Dense Plasma Focus simulated and generated in Plasma Laboratories around the country. They are essential to understanding Solar Space Weather and are governed by laws of Electrodynamics – not Gravity. This mission is important in deciphering how these Coamic Plasmoids affect their stellar galactic companions. Black Holes are silly nonsense and have no business being promoted as a legitimate scientific object.

    If you wish to verify my comments, research the work of the nations top Plasma Physicist over the past 60 years. Winston H. Bostick, Hannes Alfven, and Anthony Peratt. The work currently being done by Eric Lerner at the Focus Fusion in regards to Plasmoids for stimulating Aneutronic Fusion is far more representative of the object being studied then the debunked fanciful SciFi musings of the Black Hole.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • mk045

      What?!? And there are faeries that live under this large blue mushroom in my front yard.

      This blog's comments section needs to be moderated...

      June 1, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • casmuse

      well done!!!!!

      June 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  6. shocked monkey

    Frankly, IMHO, space exploration and the technology that stems from it is one of the most important pursuits for our economy. Just getting into space is so resource intensive that by continued pursuit we will find alternative energy sources, at minimum.

    We already have an edge in space exploration and technology, that our scant budget for NASA barely keeps us in the business of launching satellites through private enterprise, and a little R&D. Other countries WILL catch up, if we don't start investing in technology that isn't phone oriented. Once we lead the world in innovation and manufacturing as we did in our heyday, many of our other socioeconomic issues will self correct.

    Support of NASA is support in our future.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  7. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    They don't need to launch! What they are searching for is nearby in Washington DC!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • JS, WFBJ

      I think you are the eigth person in 35+ comments to have said that.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:32 am |
      • Andrew

        It amazes me how childish people are...

        June 1, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  8. Steve

    So, there's a lot of hate and disbelieve in here regarding the pursuit of knowledge, technology, innovation and consider such to costly and not a priority. Let's break it down. It is a country's Resources that drive an economy and not currency and if you believe otherwise you truly are an iddiot. The US Government does NOT have debt because they have emminent domain over all Resources in this country. The ability to create an economy is based on the ability to utilize Resources and that requires knowledge, technology and innovation. Pursuing the advancement of knowledge on our planet and the universe is part of national security and ensuring we have a future. Yes they have already proven Black Holes exists to you morons that are so illiterate to believe that and it is important we learn all we can further about our universe. Someday we may have to have the ability to travel to other planets to mine Resources once the Resources on our planet are used up.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • JS, WFBJ

      You know, lately I've realized how much I enjoy reading about space and our universe compared to other people. I tell people about all of the fascinating things I read about and they just don't care. I thought everybody was as interested in this stuff as me. Maybe I should have become an astrophysicist. Sadly, I don't think I'm smart enough so I'll just let these amazing scientists do the work and I'll keep on marveling at it.

      I think the reason why I like reading about these kinds of things is because it makes us realize how small we really are and it puts everything into the right perspective.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Fritz

        Now that is thoughtful and interesting post. It's always good to find a person on the same page as myself. You aren't alone by the way. We are part of the silent majority.

        May 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  9. Doctor What

    Pegasus rockets are not launched from a launch pad, they are launched from aircraft. Even if Kwajalein Atoll has a launch pad, anything launching on a Pegasus will be taken to an aircraft hanger.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  10. Ernest

    Black holes exist in the center of every "spiral galaxy" including our Milky Way. My question is if its black and the vastness of space is black, how are you going to photograph it? Hmmm. I guess the picture will be a black image of black 🙂

    May 31, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Howard

      Ernest, do you understand that astronomers have for quite some time been using technology to impart visible colors to the vast areas of the electromagnetic spectrum that are invisible to the human eye? Duh!

      May 31, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • JS, WFBJ

        I think it should be against the rules to post the word "Duh!" following any statement about the incredible and mind-boggling things scientists are able to do.

        May 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • devin

      you can get pictures in many different spectrums of light. you are just thinking about the part of the spectrum that YOU can see. you can take pictures in ultra-violent, gamma rays, x-rays, etc... just cuz YOU can't see it, doesn't a picture cannot be taken with a different part of the spectrum. have you ever had an x-ray taken? that's a similar concept. YOU can't see the bones in your arm, but the x-ray machine can.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • glennrobert

      At the center of our galaxy where we see nothing we see material (stars,other stuff) disappear into a dark area at high speed while being vaporized by something very powerful. A black hole for lack of a better name!

      May 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  11. What would a Wookie Do?

    If NASA wants to find a Black Hole they don't need to go into deep space to do it. Washington has a massive singularity that has been sucking money out of the budget and amplifying the deficit for at least a generation. If they really wanted to do humanity a service, they would launch a seek and destroy rocket into the cesspool we call DC.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  12. Tom Hunter

    And you misspelled "it's" – it should be "its." Man, who wrote this article? He or she should be fired.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bryan

      Will this make gas cheaper?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • posession

      Give this guy/gal a break, this is a common mistake by most Americans

      It's is a contraction of "it is" or "it has."

      Its is the possessive form of "it."

      May 31, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Sophia Dengo

      You're right. We've fixed the mistake.

      Thanks for reading!
      Sophia Dengo,

      May 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • JS, WFBJ

        I think your CNN blog is the only one that corrects mistakes. Goes well with the whole science theme.

        May 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • Sophia Dengo


        Speaking of changing things, you may have noticed we've edited your username. We're glad that you're joining the conversation, but it's a little inappropriate for the forum. For reference, here are our community guidelines [] and terms of service [].

        Thanks for reading!
        Sophia Dengo,

        June 1, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • samuraikatana1

      Dude, are you the grammar nazi or something? It's not that big of a deal, get over it.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • JS, WFBJ

      I guess Tom Hunter has never made a mistake in his life.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • glennrobert

      With out spell check I would not dare write!

      May 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  13. matdaniel

    A Black Hole is a human imaginary phenomenon invented in the past century. According to trusted historical records, John Michell wrote in his paper to the Royal Society of London in 1783, the following: "....a star 590 times as large as the Sun and of the same average...all light emitted from such a body would be made to return to it by its own power of gravity..."

    John Michell called to his IMAGINARY HUGE STAR a "black sphere". Astronomers looked for such a huge star and a star greater than 300 times the size of our Sun was never found in the universe. So, in order to continue with the imaginary phenomenon, a new imaginary one was invented: to shrink the heavy star so its concentrated density will cause chaos in its surroundings. There are several books who "use" John Michell as if he said that his imaginary star will shrink and become a black hole, but when John Michell idealized such imaginary phenomenon, that process of collapsing or shrinking of stars wasn't "invented yet", and you can be sure that these modern books are giving fake information.

    In reality, black holes don't exist, and billions of dollars are wasted if this is a goal to finally catch up with a black hole. And if no black hole is ever caught, these deceiver scientists will find the way to manipulate information and perpetuate the big lie anyway...they just can't accept that they are wrong...pride is a bad thing sometimes...

    May 31, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • L.A.

      The density of your mind proves that black holes do exist.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • xbox360wirelesscontroller

        Give him a break. He's the same guy who thinks the Milky Way is a galaxy in the constellation of Snickers.

        May 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • GG

      Sometime, being an ignorant Tea Bagger Republican is a bad thing, too. Just sayin'.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Uh.... OK.

      You're so right. These arrogant scientist think they can convince us of anything these days! Ever since Atlas, whose broad shoulders hold up our beautiful world, wrapped his high-speed ocean currents around the earth to give the illusion of a 'spherical' earth, scientists have been constantly trying to one-up themselves with what they'll get us to believe. Just look at those idiots in NASA who tried to fake a moon landing! Seriously! Who's going to believe that men walked on a giant ball of green cheese!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • Michael Tobias

        Your funny!

        May 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • Michael Tobias

        Sorry I meant you're funny! My grammar is just as bad;)

        May 31, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • NASA_one_who_knows

        Subject matter: SATellites ... I love the response, SATurated with SATire. Mankind never SAT on the moon.
        However, we did WALK on it. I have actually seen the moon rocks, and oh, by the way ... every day we bounce laser beams off the surface of the Moon ... the device which mankind SAT on the Moon is called a retroreflector. The 240,000-mile round trip takes about 2.5 seconds. Next rebuttal ... for all of you pesimists and nay-sayers ... SATurday.

        May 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • H Manuel Montes

        I thought it was 240,000 miles one way?

        May 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
      • Hizha

        There are some interesting pnotis in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

        June 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • GG

      People like you make me laugh. You guys make it SO easy for others to NOT vote Repulican. I've never seen so many lying, Tea Bagging, stupid, ignorant people who are so PROUD to be stupid. But, like you said, pride can be a bad thing sometimes.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Sean

      Actually, we do have proof of black holes; we even got a picture of one (or rather, a picture showing matter falling into the event horizon) within the last couple years. We also have tracked the orbits of stars in the galactic core of the Milky Way, and found that they're orbiting at an incredible speeds around a central point (a super-massive blackhole).

      May 31, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • mk045

      Please show me a proof that black holes don't exist. Just because they are not mentioned in the bible? LOL!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  14. Um

    "A mission 20 years in the making". Or in my opinion "A mission 20 years of money wasting".

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Space

      Just because you can't comprehend something doesn't mean it's not important.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • samuraikatana1

      Space exploration is critical to the future survival of our species, and the only way we can navigate space successfully is to understand as much as we can about it. Not to mention all the current technological advances we all benefit from daily due to previous space related endeavors. Seriously buddy, pull your head out of the sand.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Daniel in Denver

      Um has a point, and it doesn't mean that this isn't important – or that he has no sense of wonder or imagination. It's just that we can't afford to do this right now, as a nation. You do realize that we borrowed 40% of the money to fund this program from China, right? Because we can't pay our own bills right now?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • samuraikatana1

        And you understand that one of the keys to economic growth is technological advancement, right?

        May 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • religion; a way to control the weak minded

        You do realize that NASA's FY 2011 budget of $18.4 billion represents about 0.5% of the $3.4 trillion United States federal budget during the year, right?

        May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • NASA_again

      In his time, Christopher Columbus had to convince the nay-sayers of his time ( and those who could fund his mission ),
      that there is a world beyond the Coast of Spain. History does repeat itself ... in war, in terms of economics, and in terms of
      seeing what is "out there" beyond our known paradigm. Otherwise, civilization would still only be "off the coast" of Western Europe. SpaceX, the shuttles, and current technology have replaced the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • JS, WFBJ

      What's wrong Um? Didn't like me speaking the truth and you had my comment removed? If you are worried about spending, how about we stop wasting trillions of dollars on wars that can never be won.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • H Manuel Montes

        They are never intended to be won. How do you win a 'war'?

        May 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Pliny

      Research, even if it does not pan out, is still a positive thing.

      No matter what kind of research, it still has positive effects.

      Pharamceutical research is a good example of this.

      Pharam research has produced some amazing drugs that have made positive changes to the human race.

      Birth control pills are an example of this contribution. They have helped families to manage their growth.

      And sadly, sometimes research is not applied properly. This often has tragic consequences.
      For example, your parents neglected to use birth control.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  15. Jeff

    The plural of "phenomenon" is "phenomena." But grammar and spelling do not seem to be strengths at CNN.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Sophia Dengo

      Thanks for pointing that mistake out - it's been corrected.
      Thanks for reading,
      Sophia Dengo,

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  16. MP

    There is a Massive Black Hole at the center of every galaxy. Just look.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  17. Bilbo much is a black hole worth in terms of market value if we find one? Can we sell it to the Chinese?

    May 31, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Realistically Speaking

      If we find one, we'll give it to the Chinese and buy it back at an exorbant price.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  18. steveo

    Once we find a black hole it would be awesome to send a probe into one.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • H Manuel Montes

      By that time we would have mutated or EVOLVED into ground hugging slimy salamander type creatures.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |
      • event_horizon

        good catch H Manuel! 240,000 miles each way. Too busy answering all of the smart alecs. thank you sir

        May 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • jason

      Results would be even better if we can send all the teebaggers into it

      May 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  19. FauxNews

    Why isn't this called a "private" satellite? It was built by Orbital Sciences Corporations funded by NASA, just like DragonX.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  20. PhD


    May 31, 2012 at 7:57 am |


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