Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Webb Telescope's first primary mirror meets cold temperature specifications, sets program landmark

03.03.2010
The James Webb Space Telescope reached a mission-readiness landmark today when its first primary mirror segment was cryo-polished to its required prescription as measured at operational cryogenic temperatures. This achievement sets the stage for a successful polishing process for the remaining 18 flight mirror segments.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is leading Webb's design and development effort for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

"Many predicted it would take us multiple iterations to successfully polish these mirror segments to achieve the correct optical prescription at the telescope's operating temperatures, but we did it on our first try," said Scott Willoughby, Webb telescope Program Manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "All our budgets and schedules are based on this and it's a confirmation of the basic plan we proposed ten years ago."

"The completion of cryogenic polishing of the engineering development unit primary mirror segment is a hugely significant milestone for the Webb telescope project that demonstrates that our primary mirror segments can be completed on schedule while meeting the performance necessary for science," said Lee Feinberg, NASA Webb Optical Telescope Element Manager at NASA Goddard.

Cryogenic polishing, or cryo-null figuring, ensures that when the mirror reaches its extremely cold operating temperature, its shape will conform to the exact optical prescription required to collect accurate infrared images of distant stars and galaxies. The engineering development unit mirror, which will be used as a flight spare, was cryotested in the X-Ray and Cryogenic Facility (XRCF) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The mirror polishing was performed at Tinsley Laboratories, Inc. in Richmond, Calif. More testing is planned, however, as we build the telescope up from the segments.

"For validation purposes, we're planning four sets of completely different cross checks and verification tests to authenticate the outcome of the mirror cryotests," said Scott Texter, Northrop Grumman Webb Optical Telescope Element Manager. "If any discrepancies surface, we can then investigate and re-verify."

Principal optical contractor Ball Aerospace will conduct separate verification tests using different computer generated holographic null tools. NASA Goddard will use its own testing equipment and measurement methods in its clean room; testing at Johnson Space Flight Center will use a reflective null tool manufactured by optical integration and test partner ITT; and polishing partner Tinsley Labs will make measurements using their own independent method of calibrating their computer generated holographic null tools.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the next-generation premier space observatory, exploring deep space phenomena from distant galaxies to nearby planets and stars. The Webb Telescope will give scientists clues about the formation of the universe and the evolution of our own solar system, from the first light after the Big Bang to the formation of star systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth. Expected to launch in 2014, the telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

For related images and a video, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/releases/2010/10-019.html
For more information on the James Webb Space Telescope, visit:
www.jwst.nasa.gov

Lynn Chandler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>