NASA's new high-energy space telescope is safely in orbit after this afternoon's launch above the South Pacific. NuSTAR's X-ray technology will allow scientists to see image areas of the universe, including black holes, in never-before-seen ways. Astrophysicist David Ballantyne studies black holes in the College of Sciences and watched the live webcast with serveral of his students. Ballantyne is on NuSTAR's science team.
It's very exciting to be involved in a mission like this because we don't have these types of launches very often. We don't get new space telescopes very frequently, and that frequency is about to greatly diminish. There are no other American missions in the pipeline. Even if something were to be planned, it wouldn't be launched until the 2020's at the earliest. That's why today was important and interesting.
The next big step is next week, as Ballantyne explains in this video.
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