Inside an environmental enclosure at Vandenberg Air Force Base's processing facility in California, solar panels line the sides of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, which was just joined to the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket. The uniting of the spacecraft with the rocket is a major milestone in prelaunch preparations.
NuSTAR is a small-explorer mission managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation. Its instrument was built by a consortium including Caltech, JPL, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the Danish Technical University in Denmark, the University of California, Berkeley, and ATK-Goleta. NuSTAR will be operated by U.C. Berkeley, with the Italian Space Agency providing its equatorial ground station located at Malindi, Kenya. NASA's Explorer Program is managed by Goddard. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA.