Excitement over NICER launch

31 May 2017

On Thursday night June 1, around midnight, API researchers Dr. Anna Watts, Dr. Phil Uttley, Dr. Anya Bilous and Thomas Riley will be glued to the screen, watching the Falcon 9 launch of Dragon. Weather conditions permitting, the SpaceX capsule will be bringing NICER, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer to the International Space Station (ISS).  It will be attached to the space station around June 12th.

The researchers are very excited about the launch and the fresh data NICER will bring them about the interior composition of neutron stars, pulsar emission mechanics and the behaviour of matter around black holes. They are official NICER Affiliate Scientists and will be amongst the first to have the data available to them.

Nicer as it will be attached to the ISS

More information about NICER can be found on the official NASA NICER website https://www.nasa.gov/nicer/ and the project website at https://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/nicer/ .

The launch can be watched on NASA TV here https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public on June 1. Broadcast will start at 23:15 CEST.

Docking of Dragon to the ISS can be viewed on NASA TV on the same channel on Sunday, June 4 from around 14:30 CEST.

A short movie explaining the fascinating science in neutron stars can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QS-I11hv1E

A list of ISS passes (for clear nights) can be found here: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/view.cfm?country=Netherlands&region=None&city=Amsterdam