NASA illustration of NuSTAR
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR)is scheduled to be launched today. It will use X-ray vision to hunt for black holes.
(PHYSORG)- NASA is poised to launch on Wednesday a sophisticated orbiting telescope that uses high-energy X-ray vision to hunt for black holes in the universe.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) will first be carried into the skies by a jet which will deploy a rocket that sends the satellite into space, NASA said.
"Why launch from the air? Plane-assisted launches are less expensive than those that take place from the ground. Less fuel is needed to boost cargo away from the pull of Earth's gravity," the US space agency said in a statement.
The project aims to study energetic phenomena such as black holes and the explosions of massive stars.
Orbital Sciences Corporation designed and manufactured the telescope and will send it into orbit from its own Pegasus air-launched rocket, which is attached to the underside of the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.