The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array Mission (NuSTAR)

Mission Overview:

NuSTAR -launched June 13, 2012- is a Small Explorer mission led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The observatory is the first focusing high-energy X-ray mission (3-80 keV) in orbit, opening the hard X-ray sky for sensitive study for the first time.

The primary science objectives are the study of the evolution of massive black holes, of compact objects, of the nature of the massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, of the explosion dynamics and nucleosynthesis in supernovae and of the nature of particle acceleration in relativistic jets in Active Galactic Nuclei.

The Italian contribution includes the provision of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) ground station in Malindi (Kenya) and the ASI Space Science Data Center (SSDC). Moreover, Italy participates to the project with a team of scientists of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) which collaborates on the primary scientific mission goals.

The primary reference for NuSTAR is Harrison et al. 2013. A full description of the mission can be found at the following link:


SSDC Contribution:

The SSDC (Formerly ASDC) has developed, in collaboration with the NuSTAR Team in Caltech, the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS), the scientific data reduction software for NuSTAR. The NuSTARDAS package processes the NuSTAR FITS formatted telemetry (Level 1) data and generates calibrated Level 2 and Level 3 scientific products (event files, energy spectra, light-curves, sky images, exposure maps, ARFs, RMFs).

The NuSTARDAS package is the official software for the NuSTAR data reduction and it is used to generate the NuSTAR Science archive. The package is distributed to the users by the HEASARC as part of the HEASoft software. The NuSTAR data products are compatible with widely used high-energy astronomy data analysis packages (e.g. XSELECT, XSPEC, XIMAGE, XRONOS).

The SSDC hosts an official mirror of the NuSTAR scientific public archive. The current release of NuSTAR public data (Data Release 7) includes over 1700 data sets. Regular updates of the archive are planned during 2015.

The NuSTAR archive is integrated in the SSDC Multi-Mission Interactive Archive (MMIA).






Swift Satellite Artist Rendering

Latest NuSTAR News
(Sep 17, 2015) NuSTAR 7th Data Release at ASDC
(May 12, 2015) Asymmetric explosion of SN1987A from 44Ti emission lines revealed with NuSTAR
(Mar 31, 2015) NuSTAR 6th Data Release at ASDC
(Jan 20, 2015) NuSTAR Principal Investigator receives the 2015 Bruno Rossi Prize
(Sep 23, 2014) NuSTAR 5th Data Release at ASDC
(May 07, 2014) NuSTAR 4th Data Release at ASDC
(Feb 20, 2014) NuSTAR creates the first map of 44Ti emission in Cassiopeia A
(Feb 06, 2014) NuSTAR 3rd Data Release at ASDC