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Gallery: NuSTAR, NASA's Black Hole Hunting Space Telescope

NuSTAR Mission Launch Sequence

Orbital Sciences Corporation

This series of images show NASA's NuSTAR and its rocket dropping from the carrier "Stargazer" plane.

NuSTAR Black Hole Telescope Launches

NASA

A winged Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket drops from a carrier aircraft high above the Pacific Ocean to launch NASA's NuSTAR space telescope on June 13, 2012, in this still from a NASA webcast.

Artist's Concept of NuSTAR

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30') mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). The mission's launch is now scheduled for no earlier than March 21, 2012.

Pegasus XL NuSTAR Mission Profile

OSC

The NuSTAR mission will deploy the first focusing telescopes to image the sky in the high energy X-ray (6 - 79 keV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The mission's launch is now scheduled for no earlier than March 21, 2012.

NuSTAR Solar Array Illumination Test

NASA Kennedy Space Center (via Twitter @NASAKennedy)

NuSTAR spacecraft will allow astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. Here it undergoes a solar array illumination test. Image tweeted Feb. 3, 2012.

Deployed Mast

NASA

Using a deployable structure allows NuSTAR to launch on a Pegasus XL rocket, one of the smaller launch vehicles available. The mission's launch is now scheduled for no earlier than March 21, 2012.

NuSTAR Space Telescope Casts Twin Eyes On Black Holes (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

By focusing X-rays, the Earth-orbiting NuSTAR space telescope will study black holes and other exotic objects in the distant universe.

Artist's Concept of NuSTAR in Orbit

NASA

Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. The mission's launch is now scheduled for no earlier than March 21, 2012. NuSTAR has two identical optics modules in order to increase sensitivity. The background is an image of the galactic center obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

First Optics Module Completed!

NASA

The first NuSTAR optics module (“FM0”) completed on 2010 August 5. NuSTAR will fly two optics units, each with 133 layers of grazing incidence optics. The mission's launch is now scheduled for no earlier than March 21, 2012.

Pegasus Rocket

NASA

The payload transporter carrying the environmentally controlled shipping container enclosing NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is parked in the airlock at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California. The mission's launch is now scheduled for no earlier than March 21, 2012.

Artist's Concept of NuSTAR in Orbit

NASA

Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has two identical optics modules in order to increase sensitivity. The background is an image of the galactic center obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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