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.


 
 

 

NASA demos CubeSat laser communications capability

Courtesy of The Aerospace Corporation Two NASA CubeSats teamed up on an impromptu optical, or laser, communications pointing experiment. The laser beam is seen as a brief flash of light close to the center of the focal plane, t...
 
 

NASA, Boeing extend Starliner crew flight test duration to ISS, target new flight dates

Boeing photograph Boeing’s Starliner prepares for acoustic testing at Boeing’s spacecraft test facilities in El Segundo, Calif. This vehicle, known as Spacecraft 2, will fly Starliner’s Crew Flight Test after ...
 
 

NASA achieves rocket engine test milestone

NASA photograph NASA conducts a test of RS-25 flight engine No. 2062 on April 4 on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. The test marked a major milestone in NASA’s march forward to Moon mission...