A Ball Aerospace & Technologies-built secondary mirror has been installed on the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center to complete a nearly four-month process.
Ball Aerospace said Wednesday the secondary mirror is called that because it is the second surface that the light from space will hit before it reaches the Webb telescope.
The secondary mirror is composed of three hollow tubular struts that are about 25 feet long and 40-thousandths of an inch thick, which work to survive extreme temperatures in space, Ball Aerospace noted.
As with the primary mirror and its segments, the secondary mirror is made of beryllium in an effort to make it lightweight and adaptable to cryogenic temperatures and coated with 0.12 ounces of gold to reflect infrared light.
The Webb telescope project’s prime contractor is Northrop Grumman, while Ball Aerospace serves as principal subcontractor and Harris Corp. works as integrator.