Orbital Sciences Corp. technicians prepare to move the first, second and third stages of the Pegasus XL rocket that will launch the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array NuSTAR to orbit from the west high bay to the east high bay of Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The move will allow technicians to process the spacecraft and fairing in the clean rooms of the east high bay before attaching it to the rocket.
After the rocket and spacecraft are processed at Vandenberg, they will be flown on the Orbital Sciences' L-1011 carrier aircraft to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site located at the Pacific Ocean’s Kwajalein Atoll for launch. The high-energy X-ray telescope will conduct a census for black holes, map radioactive material in young supernovae remnants, and study the origins of cosmic rays and the extreme physics around collapsed stars. Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB