NASA has performed a cryogenic test on the cameras and spectrographs of the James Webb Space Telescope in order to determine if the systems could withstand extremely cold temperatures inside a space environment simulator.
The Webb telescope’s scientific instruments have been removed from a cylindrical simulation chamber at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland following completion of the test, NASA said Monday.
The tested modules include a mid-infrared instrument, a near-infrared spectrometer, a near-infrared camera and a fine guidance sensor/near-infrared imager and slitless spectrograph.
“The next major step is assembling the instrument module and the telescope together to complete the entire ‘cold’ section of the Webb observatory,” said Bill Ochs, a project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
NASA aims to launch the telescope into space in 2018 on a mission to capture images of galaxies and planets around distant stars.
Ball Aerospace and Harris act as subcontractors to Northrop Grumman in the Webb telescope development program.