Space & Technology

March 15, 2017
 

NASA’s Webb Telescope ghostly ‘lights out’ inspection

nasa-telescope
What happens when the lights are turned out in the enormous clean room that currently houses NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope? The technicians who are inspecting the telescope and its expansive golden mirrors look like ghostly wraiths in this image as they conduct a “lights out inspection” in the Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility (SSDIF) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The clean room lights were turned off to inspect the telescope after it experienced vibration and acoustic testing. The contamination control engineer used a bright flashlight and special ultraviolet flashlights to inspect for contamination because it’s easier to find in the dark.

NASA photographer Chris Gunn said “The people have a ghostly appearance because it’s a long exposure.” He left the camera’s shutter open for a longer than normal time so the movement of the technicians appear as a blur. He also used a special light “painting” technique to light up the primary mirror.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Blue Origin photograph

NASA announces new partnerships to develop space exploration technologies

Blue Origin photograph Blue Origin is one of six companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation. Pictured here, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifted off July 18 carrying five NASA-supported technologies to flig...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph by Eddie Young

Navy satellite system receives green light for expanded operational use

Marine Corps photograph by Eddie Young Marines from the 1st Marine Division test out the Mobile User Objective System at a Field User Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California. MUOS is a satellite communication system that uses ...
 
 
spaceX

SpaceX launches 10 more Iridium Communications satellites

SpaceX successfully launched 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 4:39 a.m., PDT, July 25. This was the seventh set of satellites in a series of 75 total satellites th...