Northrop Grumman has completed ambient and thermal vacuum testing and delivery of the James Webb Space Telescope‘s deployable tower assembly to NASA for the space observatory’s final assembly at Northrop’s Space Park facility.
The company said Tuesday its Astro Aerospace subsidiary designed and built the graphite DTA, which works to support Webb’s spacecraft and telescope structures.
“First, in the stowed configuration, the DTA allows the telescope and instruments to fit into the rocket fairing with an acceptable center of gravity for launch,” said Ken Aiello, Webb cost account manager and DTA program manager at Astro Aerospace.
“Second, in the deployed configuration, it will lift the telescope mirrors and instruments away from the heat of the main spacecraft.”
According to Northrop, Webb is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and is a joint project of NASA and the European and Canadian space agencies.
The Goddard Space Flight Center selected the company to design and develop the sunshield, optics and spacecraft components for Webb.