Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First Two Webb Telescope Flight Mirrors Delivered to NASA

25.09.2012
The first two of the 18 primary mirrors to fly aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope arrived at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The mirrors are going through receiving and inspection and will then be stored in the Goddard cleanroom until engineers are ready to assemble them onto the telescope's backplane structure that will support them.


Technicians and scientists check out one of the Webb telescope's first two flight mirrors in the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Ball Aerospace, Boulder, Colo., under contract to Northrop Grumman, is responsible for the Webb’s optical technology and lightweight mirror system. On September 17, 2012, Ball Aerospace shipped the first two mirrors in custom containers designed specifically for the multiple trips the mirrors made through eight U.S. states while completing their manufacturing. The remaining 16 mirrors will make their way from Ball Aerospace to Goddard over the next 12 months as they await telescope integration in 2015.

"These first two completed flight mirror assemblies arriving at Goddard are an important first step leading towards the integration of the mirrors onto the flight structure," said Lee Feinberg, NASA Optical Telescope Element Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "These delivered flight mirrors meet their requirements, which is great news for Webb telescope being able to fulfill its scientific potential."

One of the Webb’s science goals is to look back through time to when galaxies were young. To see such far-off and faint objects, Webb needs a large mirror. A telescope’s sensitivity, or how much detail it can see, is directly related to the size of the mirror area that collects light from the objects being observed. A larger area collects more light, just like a larger bucket collects more water in a rain shower than a small one.

This photo shows one of the two mirrors, while the other awaits opening in its shipping canister. The mirrors have arrived at their new home at NASA, where they will be residing at the giant cleanroom at Goddard for a while as technicians check them out. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Webb’s scientists and engineers determined that a primary mirror 6.5 meters (21 feet 4 inches) across is what was needed to measure the light from these distant galaxies. Each of the 18 hexagonal-shaped mirror assemblies that make up the primary mirror measures more than 1.3 meters (4.2 feet) across, and weighs approximately 40 kilograms, or 88 pounds.

The Webb will be the first space astronomy observatory to use an actively-controlled, segmented mirror. The Webb is critical for future infrared observations. The Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade. It will study every phase in the history of our universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of stellar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System. It is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Lynn Chandler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/webb-tech-mirrors-delivered.html

Further reports about: AEROSPACE Big Bang Goddard Space Flight Center NASA Space Telescope giant cleanroom

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California

24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>