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Topic: Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL Rocket

NASA’s CYGNSS Microsatellites to give unprecedented measurements of Tropical Storms, Hurricanes

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA confirmed Friday morning that all eight spacecraft of its latest Earth science mission are in good shape. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) will provide scientists with advanced technology to see inside tropical storms and hurricanes as never before.

CYGNSS launched into orbit at 5:37am PST (8:37am EST) Thursday aboard an Orbital ATK air-launched Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The rocket was dropped and launched from Orbital’s Stargazer L-1011 aircraft, which took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida.

Artist's concept of one of the eight NASA Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System satellites deployed in space above a hurricane. (NASA)

Artist’s concept of one of the eight NASA Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System satellites deployed in space above a hurricane. (NASA)

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NASA launches their Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Spacecraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft launched Wednesday at 7:27pm PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The mission to study the solar atmosphere was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket.

“We are thrilled to add IRIS to the suite of NASA missions studying the sun,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington. “IRIS will help scientists understand the mysterious and energetic interface between the surface and corona of the sun.”

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NASA’s IRIS Spacecraft will point it’s Telescope at the Sun to better understand it’s Energy

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSpace Center, FL – Researchers hope NASA’s latest solar observatory will answer a fundamental question of how the sun creates such intense energy.

Scheduled to launch June 27th, the IRIS spacecraft will point a telescope at the interface region of the sun that lies between the surface and the million degree outer atmosphere called the corona. It will improve our understanding of how energy moves from the sun’s surface to the glowing corona, heating up from 6,000 degrees to millions of degrees.

Engineers work with the IRIS spacecraft on the nose of the Pegasus XL rocket that will launch the solar observatory into Earth orbit. (Photo credit: VAFB/Rnady Beaudoin)

Engineers work with the IRIS spacecraft on the nose of the Pegasus XL rocket that will launch the solar observatory into Earth orbit. (Photo credit: VAFB/Rnady Beaudoin)

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NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) extends Mast and is ready for Calibration

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has successfully deployed its lengthy mast, giving it the ability to see the highest energy X-rays in our universe. The mission is one step closer to beginning its hunt for black holes hiding in our Milky Way and other galaxies.

“It’s a real pleasure to know that the mast, an accomplished feat of engineering, is now in its final position,” said Yunjin Kim, the NuSTAR project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. Kim was also the project manager for the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which flew a similar mast on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2000 and made topographic maps of Earth.

Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit. NuSTAR has a 33-foot (10-meter) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s concept of NuSTAR in orbit. NuSTAR has a 33-foot (10-meter) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched Wednesday morning and begins preparing for mission

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched into the morning skies over the central Pacific Ocean at 9:00am PDT (noon EDT) Wednesday, beginning its mission to unveil secrets of buried black holes and other exotic objects.

“We have been eagerly awaiting the launch of this novel X-ray observatory,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division Director. “With its unprecedented spatial and spectral resolution to the previously poorly explored hard X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum, NuSTAR will open a new window on the universe and will provide complementary data to NASA’s larger missions, including Fermi, Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer.”

NASA's NuSTAR and its rocket drop from the carrier "Stargazer" plane. (Image Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation.)

NASA's NuSTAR and its rocket drop from the carrier "Stargazer" plane. (Image Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation.)

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NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array prepares for Launch

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Final pre-launch preparations are underway for NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. The mission, which will use X-ray vision to hunt for hidden black holes, is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13th from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The observatory will launch from the belly of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s L-1011 “Stargazer” aircraft aboard the company’s Pegasus rocket.

Artist's concept showing NASA's NuSTAR mission orbiting Earth. NuSTAR will hunt for hidden black holes and other exotic cosmic objects. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist's concept showing NASA's NuSTAR mission orbiting Earth. NuSTAR will hunt for hidden black holes and other exotic cosmic objects. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s NuSTAR Mission Launch Date Postponed

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The planned launch of NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has been postponed after a March 15th launch status meeting. The launch will be rescheduled to allow additional time to confirm the flight software used by the launch vehicle’s flight computer will issue commands to the rocket as intended.

The spacecraft will lift off on an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket, which will be released from an aircraft taking off from the Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

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). (Image credit: 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). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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