PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA will host a news teleconference at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) June 11 to discuss the upcoming launch of its Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observatory, scheduled for no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT) June 13.
The observatory, a black-hole hunter with sharp X-ray eyes, will be launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. NuSTAR is attached to an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket, which is mounted on the bottom of an L-1011 Stargazer aircraft. The airplane will take off from the atoll and release the rocket, which will ignite its engines in the air. The Stargazer plane departed Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on June 5 and will land at Kwajalein today, June 6.
-- Omar Baez, NASA launch director, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
-- Fiona Harrison, NuSTAR principal investigator, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
-- William Craig, NuSTAR instrument manager, University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
-- Grace Baird, NuSTAR bus chief engineer, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va.
The news teleconference will take place at the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley. Graphics presented during the teleconference will be online shortly before the event begins, at http://1.usa.gov/nustar .
Live audio of the teleconference will be available at http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio .
On June 13, launch coverage and commentary will be broadcast online beginning 90 minutes before launch at http://www.nasa.gov/nustar .
NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also in Pasadena, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va. Its instrument was built by a consortium including Caltech; JPL; UC Berkeley; Columbia University, New York; NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; the Danish Technical University in Denmark; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif.; and ATK Aerospace Systems, Goleta, Calif. NuSTAR will be operated by UC Berkeley, with the Italian Space Agency providing its equatorial ground station located at Malindi, Kenya. The mission's outreach program is based at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, Calif. NASA's Explorer Program is managed by Goddard. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA.
Launch management and government oversight for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.