NASA to Launch X-ray Telescope from Pacific Island

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

NASA is set to launch an X-ray space telescope on a two-year hunt for black holes and other hard-to-see objects in the Milky Way and other galaxies.

The telescope is tucked inside a rocket at a Pacific island launch site. On Wednesday, a carrier aircraft with the Pegasus rocket strapped underneath will take off. Once in the air, the aircraft will release the rocket, which will free-fall before igniting its engines to climb to space.

If all goes well, the telescope will separate from the rocket and unfurl its solar panels once in orbit

The mission was supposed to launch in March but was delayed by an issue with the rocket. The $170 million mission comes a week after NASA killed another X-ray telescope slated to launch in 2014.

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