NASA to Hold News Conference About NuSTAR Launch

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). 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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May 24, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA will hold a news conference on Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), a mission to hunt for black holes. The event will be held at NASA Headquarters in Washington and will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website. In addition, the event will be carried live on Ustream, with a moderated chat available, at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 . Questions may be asked via Twitter using the hashtag #asknasa.

NuSTAR will observe some of the hottest, densest and most energetic objects in the universe, including black holes, their high-speed particle jets, ultra-dense neutron stars, supernova remnants and our sun. It will observe high-energy X-rays with much greater sensitivity and clarity than any mission flown to date. Among its several goals, NuSTAR will address the puzzle of how black holes and galaxies evolve together over time.

NuSTAR is scheduled to launch no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT) on June 13 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The spacecraft will lift off on an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL launch vehicle, released from an aircraft flying south of Kwajalein.

News conference participants are:

-- Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington
-- Fiona Harrison, NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.
-- Daniel Stern, NuSTAR project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena
-- Yunjin Kim, NuSTAR project manager at JPL

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv .

NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led Caltech and managed by JPL 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; the University of California, 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.

For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/nustar and http://www.nustar.caltech.edu/ .

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov

J.D. Harrington 202-358-5241
Headquarters, Washington
j.d.harrington@nasa.gov

2012-144



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