Posted: Jun 13, 2012 9:07 AM by Associated Press
Updated: Jun 13, 2012 11:27 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A rocket carrying NASA's newest X-ray telescope has ignited its engine in midair over the Pacific and begun its climb to space.
It'll be several minutes before there's confirmation that the X-ray telescope separated from the rocket and is in the right orbit.
The telescope is aboard a Pegasus rocket dropped from a special aircraft that took off early Wednesday from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.
NASA chose to air-launch the $170 million mission because it's cheaper than rocketing off from a launch pad.
The two-year mission will hunt for black holes and other elusive celestial objects in our Milky Way and other galaxies.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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