Space

April 3, 2012

First spacecraft flight recorder for Webb telescope delivered to Northrop Grumman


REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – The solid-state electronics unit that will capture the James Webb Space Telescope’s science and engineering data has been completed and delivered to Northrop Grumman by its teammate SEAKR Engineering, Inc., Centennial, Colo.

“Without science data, there would be no mission, so this is a very important milestone for the Webb program,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president, Webb program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “All the digital data Webb gathers about our universe, as it was 13.5 billion years ago, is stored on the onboard solid state recorder until it is delivered to the world’s scientists.”

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor responsible for designing and developing the telescope for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

“We are proud to be able to contribute to this ground-breaking NASA science mission,” said Chris Miller, senior vice president of Programs, SEAKR Engineering, Inc. “We had a few challenges during development of this recorder which the team worked very hard to overcome and make this delivery a reality. For nearly 30 years, we’ve delivered more than 100 spacecraft data processing systems and to date, we have had a 100 percent on-orbit success rate. SEAKR is confident the Webb Telescope recorder will continue this tradition.”

Operating like a digital video recorder, the spacecraft flight unit records all science data together with continuous engineering “state of health” telemetry for the entire observatory 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The recorder’s capacity is 58.9 GB, and it is manufactured to withstand the extreme environment of space. The data is downloaded to the ground station when the telescope communicates with Earth during a four-hour window every 12 hours.

The receiving center for Webb’s data will be NASA’s Deep Space Network, which supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations. The Network currently consists of three deep-space communications facilities placed approximately 120 degrees apart around the world: at Goldstone, in California’s Mojave Desert; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia. This strategic placement allows for constant observation of spacecraft as the Earth rotates, and helps make the Network the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications system in the world.

Successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s next-generation space observatory. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the very first galaxies ever formed and study planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.




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


 
 

 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

NASA seeks proposals for commercial Mars data relay satellites

NASA has issued a Request for Information to investigate the possibility of using commercial Mars-orbiting satellites to provide telecommunications capabilities for future robotic missions to the Red Planet. We are looking to broaden participation in the exploration of Mars to include new models for government and commercial partnerships, said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASAR...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates 15th anniversary

NASA photograph To celebrate the 15th anniversary of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, four new images of supernova remnants are being released. These spectacular cosmic vistas are the glowing debris fields that were crea...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA begins engine test project for space launch system rocket

NASA photograph RS-25 rocket engine No. 0525 is positioned onto the A-1 Test Stand at NASAís Stennis Space Center in Mississippi preparation for a series of developmental tests. Engineers have taken a crucial step in preparing...
 
 

SSL selected to study asteroid retrieval for NASA

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced July 18 that it was one of the companies selected by NASA to study system concepts and key technologies for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is expected to be a key part of the agency’s path to sending humans to Mars. SSL will conduct two studies;...
 
 
NASA image

NASA turns over next-gen air traffic management tool to FAA

NASA image As seen in this image, Terminal Sequencing and Spacing technology enables air traffic controllers to better manage the spacing between aircraft as they save both time and fuel and reducing emissions, flying more effi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>