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Webb Telescope Goes Into Deep Freeze

Webb Telescope Goes Into Deep Freeze - top government contractors - best government contracting event
www.jwst.nasa.gov
Webb Telescope Goes Into Deep Freeze - top government contractors - best government contracting event
www.jwst.nasa.gov

Mirrors constructed by Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. for use on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope are ready for deep-freeze testing.

NASA said the mirrors will begin final cryogenic testing this week. The test is designed to show how the mirrors will respond to space's extreme temperatures.

The first six of the 18 hexagonal-shaped mirrors measuring 4.3 feet in diameter will undergo the test at the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Temperatures will reach minus 415 degrees Fahrenheit in the helium cooled vacuum chamber.

“This final cryotest is expected to confirm the exacting processes that have resulted in flight mirrors manufactured to tolerances as tight as 20 nanometers, or less than one millionth of an inch,” said Scott Texter, Webb Optical Telescope element manager at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, Calif.

The Webb Telescope is intended as a replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope. Webb is reported to be the most powerful space telescope ever designed and is tasked with capturing images of faraway galaxies and unexplored planets. Its destined for an orbit of about one million miles away from Earth.

Web is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor. Ball Aerospace developed the mirrors. L-3 Tinsley Laboratories grinds and polishes the mirrors.

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Written by Neel Mehta

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