Northrop Grumman, NASA Prep for Assembly of James Webb Space Telescope; Jon Arenberg Comments

Jon Arenberg
Jon Arenberg

Northrop Grumman and NASA will begin to assemble the $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope following completion of a test run with the pathfinder telescope, The Space Reporter reported Tuesday.

Alex Galbraith writes Northrop will ship the space telescope’s components to the Goddard Space Flight Center using Lockheed C-5 Galaxy planes and vehicles.

Jon Arenberg, JWST chief engineer, told Space.com the test run with the pathfinder telescope was intended to help NASA determine “how to handle such a large structure [and] how to attach the mirrors,” according to the report.

“This allows us to wring out a 140,000-lb. stand and robot assembly process,” Arenberg told the publication.

NASA has scheduled the JWST for launch in 2018 and expects to operate it in space for up to 10 years, Galbraith reports.

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