Here's just some of what we already know about neutron stars. An upcoming NASA mission will further investigate these unusual objects from the International Space Station. The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer mission, or NICER, will study the extraordinary environments -- strong gravity, ultra-dense matter, and the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe -- embodied by neutron stars. NICER is a two-in-one mission. The embedded Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology, or SEXTANT, demonstration will use NICER data to validate, for the first time in space, pulsar-based navigation.
NICER is planned for launch aboard the SpaceX CRS-11, currently scheduled for June 1, 2017.