Orbital designed, manufactured, integrated and tested the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) scientific satellite under a contract from the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The NuSTAR observatory uses high-energy X-rays to detect black holes and other energetic phenomena in the universe.
The NuSTAR program is being led by Principal Investigator Dr. Fiona Harrison of Caltech. Its mission is to help scientists answer fundamental questions about the universe, such as:
How black holes are distributed throughout the cosmos
How the elements of the universe were created
What powers the most extreme active galaxies
With answers to these and other questions, NuSTAR will expand our understanding of the origins and destinies of stars and galaxies.
The NuSTAR spacecraft is based on Orbital’s proven LEOStar-2™ design. NuSTAR is the seventh satellite based on this platform, taking advantage of a growing heritage of excellent in-orbit performance from previous missions. Other LEOStar-based satellites that Orbital has designed and built for previous NASA scientific missions include SORCE, GALEX and AIM.
Orbit: 550 km circular @ 6.0° inclination
Launch mass: 365 kg
Solar Arrays: 762 W EOL, single axis articulated array
Redundancy: Single String
Stabilization: 3-axis stabilized
Design Life: 25 months
Launched aboard an Orbital Pegasus rocket on June 13, 2012
Customer: California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratoy (JPL)
Mission: Expanding our understanding of the origins and destinies of stars and galaxies.