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NASA Puts Webb Telescope Instruments Through Cryogenic Test

NASA Puts Webb Telescope Instruments Through Cryogenic Test - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Webb telescope mirrorNASA 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.

Engineers have also installed Ball Aerospace and Technologies-built tertiary and fine steering mirrors into the telescope, marking the Webb optical path’s completion, the company noted.

NASA and Harris Corp. finished the integration of 18 primary mirrors from Ball Aerospace early in February and the installation of a secondary mirror earlier this month.

“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.

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Written by Mary-Louise Hoffman

is a writer of news summaries about executive-level business activity in the government contracting sector. Her reports for ExecutiveBiz are focused on trends and events that drive the GovCon industry to include commercial technologies that private companies are developing for federal government use. She contributes news content to ExecutiveBiz’s sister sites GovCon Wire and ExecutiveGov.

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