This image shows the L-1011 airplane with the Pegasus rocket booster and HESSI attached to its underside. This picture was taken at Cape Canaveral where the plane will eventually take off from...
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Courtesy of NASA
HESSI Awaits Launch (Updated!)
News story originally written on July 6, 2001
HESSI's launch has been delayed. There might be a problem with the Pegasus rocket HESSI was suppose to ride to space on. On June 2nd, another Pegasus rocket went out of control and had to be blown up
! So, NASA wants to make sure there isn't a problem with all of the Pegasus rockets. They are working hard to figure out if it is safe to launch HESSI. For now, HESSI has been sent to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Here HESSI will be cleaned up and then stored. It may be a few months before HESSI is launched...
HESSI is the name of NASA's newest satellite built to study the Sun. HESSI stands for High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. Those big words mean that HESSI will study solar flares. Solar flares are high energy and they can have big effects on the Earth!
When HESSI is ready to be launched, an airplane will carry HESSI and its Pegasus rocket booster into the air. The airplane will release the rocket which would boost HESSI to its orbit above Earth. From there, HESSI will help us study the Sun.
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