12:04 PM

USRA and NASA Scientists test a "GPS " system for space

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Experiment took off aboard the Dragon spacecraft on June 4 headed to ISS

Video Courtesy: Voice of America.

The NICER/SEXTANT experiment was launched on June 4 aboard the Dragon Spacecraft headed for the International Space Station.  While the primary goal of NICER is science, it also offers the possibility of testing new forms of technology. For instance, the instrument will be used to conduct the first-ever demonstration of autonomous X-ray pulsar-based navigation. As part of the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT), the team will use NICER’s telescopes to detect the X-ray beams generated by pulsars to estimate the arrival times of their pulses

Photo (above) shows an image of SEXTANT which will demonstrate a GPS-like absolute position determination capability by observing millisecond pulsars. Photo Credit: NASA