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Orbital Sciences receives approval to launch NuSTAR

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posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 11:40 PM
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Orbital Sciences has received approval from NASA to use a Pegasus rocket to launch the NuSTAR (nuclear spectroscopic telescope array) telescope. It's a compact x-ray telescope designed to study black holes and other x-ray sources in space.

The Pegasus will be carried aloft by an L1011 carrier aircraft, launching from Kwajalein, and then dropped in the launch area. It will be the first launch for the rocket since 2008.


Orbital Sciences' Pegasus launch vehicle has received final approval to launch NASA's nuclear spectroscopic telescope array (NuSTAR), scheduled for 13 June.

The launch entails dropping the rocket from Orbital Sciences' Lockheed L-1011 carrier aircraft, which will lift off from Kwajalein Atoll in the remote Pacific Ocean, carry the Pegasus to its designated launch area, and drop it from cruise altitude and speed. The launch window lasts approximately four hours, and no adverse weather is forecast.

The flight marks the first Pegasus launch since 2008, heralding the rocket's return to competitiveness. The solid-fuel rocket, which can loft up to 443kg (977lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO). Smallsats, which Pegasus is designed to launch, increasingly prefer to buy rideshares on larger rockets.

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posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 10:42 PM
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The satellite was successfully launched from the L1011. Now we just have to wait for them to complete the checks once it's in orbit to make sure it's going to work right.



 
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