recommended reading

NuSTAR, the latest space telescope, launched


For people who remember the X-15 research program from the early 1960s, the launch of a space telescope on Wednesday might have been a bit of deja vu.

Through the X-15 program, NASA, along with the Air Force, the Navy, and North American Aviation conducted research on hypersonic piloted flight, setting an unofficial speed record (4,520 mph) and altitude record (354,200 feet), according to the NASA website. But because the fuel required to reach such speeds and heights was so great, the space agency saved fuel by launching the aircraft from the wings of B-52s flying at 45,000 feet and traveling at 500 mph.

Like the X-15 aircraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, was launched off the wing of an airplane, in this case an L-1011. And like the X-15, it was launched from a plane in a Pegasus XL rocket to save fuel costs compared with the costs of launching a rocket from the ground, according to NASA. 

Once operational in orbit, the telescope "will spend at least two-years observing high-energy X-rays more closely, in higher resolution, than any space telescope before it," NASA said. The X-rays include those emitted by black holes.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.