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SLAC Publication: SLAC-PUB-16148
SLAC Release Date: November 20, 2014
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) Mission
Harrison, Fiona.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, launched on 13 June 2012, is the first focusing high-energy X-ray telescope in orbit. NuSTAR operates in the band from 3 -- 79 keV, extending the sensitivity of focusing far beyond the ~10 keV high-energy cutoff achieved by all previous X-ray satellites. The inherently low-background associated with concentrating the X-ray light enables NuSTAR to probe the hard X-ray sky with a more than one-hundred-fold improvement in sensitivity over ... Show Full Abstract
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, launched on 13 June 2012, is the first focusing high-energy X-ray telescope in orbit. NuSTAR operates in the band from 3 -- 79 keV, extending the sensitivity of focusing far beyond the ~10 keV high-energy cutoff achieved by all previous X-ray satellites. The inherently low-background associated with concentrating the X-ray light enables NuSTAR to probe the hard X-ray sky with a more than one-hundred-fold improvement in sensitivity over the collimated or coded-mask instruments that have operated in this bandpass. Using its unprecedented combination of sensitivity, spatial and spectral resolution, NuSTAR will pursue five primary scientific objectives, and will also undertake a broad program of targeted observations. The observatory consists of two co-aligned grazing-incidence X-ray telescopes pointed at celestial targets by a three-axis stabilized spacecraft. Deployed into a 600 km, near-circular, 6degree inclination orbit, the Observatory has now completed commissioning, and is performing consistent with pre-launch expectations. NuSTAR is now executing its primary science mission, and with an expected orbit lifetime of ten years, we anticipate proposing a guest investigator program, to begin in Fall 2014. Show Partial Abstract
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