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Latest Small Explorer program Stories

NuSTAR Strapped To Its Plane, En Route To Kwajalein Atoll For Launch
2012-06-06 03:49:23

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is now perched atop its Pegasus XL rocket, strapped to the plane that will carry the mission to an airborne launch. Launch is scheduled for June 13, no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT). The plane -- the L-1011 "Stargazer" aircraft is being flown to Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean from June 5 to 6. About an hour before launch, the plane will lift off from the island, and drop NuSTAR and its rocket over the...

NASA Getting NuSTAR Ready For Her Big Day
2012-05-23 03:47:03

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 13 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. Technicians at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California are busy installing...

NuSTAR's Mirrors Baked In Zhang's Glass Kitchen
2012-02-24 04:28:37

It pays to persevere. No one knows this better than Will Zhang. For more than a decade, the astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., experimented with a new technique for efficiently manufacturing super-thin, low-cost curved telescope mirror segments to collect and focus ever-elusive, high-energy X-ray photons. The fruits of that labor -- a total of 9,000 individual mirror segments -- are now assembled into telescope optics and installed inside NASA's...

2011-09-30 04:37:50

NASA has selected 11 science proposals for evaluation as potential future science missions. The proposals outline prospective missions to study the Earth's atmosphere, the sun, the Milky Way galaxy, and Earth-like planets around nearby stars. The selections were made from responses to Announcements of Opportunity for Explorer Missions and Explorer Missions of Opportunity released by the agency last November. The proposals were judged to have the best science value and feasible development...

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2010-09-30 11:45:36

When NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) on October 19, 2008, space physicists held their collective breath for never-before-seen views of a collision zone far beyond the planets, roughly 10 billion miles away. That's where the solar wind, an outward rush of charged particles and magnetic fields continuously spewed by the Sun, runs into the flow of particles and fields that permeates interstellar space in our neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy. No spacecraft had ever...

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2009-12-16 11:10:00

NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite has captured five complete polar seasons of noctilucent (NLC) or "night-shining" clouds with an unprecedented horizontal resolution of 3 miles by 3 miles. Results show that the cloud season turns on and off like a "geophysical light bulb" and they reveal evidence that high altitude mesospheric "weather" may follow similar patterns as our ever-changing weather near the Earth's surface. These findings were unveiled Dec. 15 at the Fall...

2009-10-15 13:00:00

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly a year ago - on October 19, 2008 - the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) - a NASA Small Explorer Mission - was launched into Earth orbit to discover the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium - the gas, dust and radiation environment between the stars - by measuring the neutral atoms created by that interaction. As our Sun travels through the galaxy it is encompassed in a giant bubble inflated by a...

2009-08-04 14:37:00

GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An exciting new astrophysics mission led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will provide a revolutionary window into the universe. Named the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS), the satellite will be the first to systematically measure the polarization of cosmic X-ray sources. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "To date, astronomers have measured X-ray polarization from...

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2009-08-04 14:55:00

An exciting new astrophysics mission led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will provide a revolutionary window into the universe. Named the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS), the satellite will be the first to systematically measure the polarization of cosmic X-ray sources. "To date, astronomers have measured X-ray polarization from only a single object outside the solar system -- the famous Crab Nebula, the luminous cloud that marks the site of an...

2009-06-23 14:44:00

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Space Systems Company, the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, and a national and international team of co-investigators have been selected by NASA to develop a new Small Explorer Mission (SMEX) called the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS). The Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto has scientific payload and overall mission responsibility. Construction,...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.