June 19, 2008

NASA’s New Space Telescope is Being Tested

The U.S. space agency says its newest space telescope, the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, is in the process of being activated.

The Delta II rocket carrying GLAST lifted off June 11 from launch pad 17-B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It is in orbit approximately 350 miles above the Earth and running well, officials said.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said its engineers for the next month, will be busy turning on and checking the spacecraft's various components.

Once the Large Area Telescope is operational, GLAST will survey the entire sky every three hours, using the sky survey control mode, said Kathy Turner, GLAST's program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy.

NASA said the GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the United States.