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NuSTAR Pegasus XL launch delay is longer than expected

The launch of a Pegasus XL air-dropped rocket which was set to carry the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission for NASA has now been delayed from its planned launch date of 22 March. The cause of the delay was a perceived need to make further checks on the software and command with respect to the new flight computer of the Pegasus launch vehicle. Pegasus has not flown since October 2008.

While it was hoped that the checks would only take a few days, it has subsequently been announced by NASA that the Pegasus XL launch vehicle will now be launched in April at the earliest, when it will be air-dropped from the underside of a Lockheed L-1011 over the Kwajelein Atoll in the Pacific.

The NuStar spacecraft consists of an erectable 10m truss mast with  the observing instruments placed at one end with the optics placed at the other, its mission - to examinge high energy X-ray objects in the universe.

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