Space

August 20, 2012

Fabrication of Northrop Grumman-built spacecraft for Webb Telescope moves forward

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – The spacecraft that will carry NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to its orbit nearly a million miles from Earth has completed a Critical Design Review for the structure that supports Webb’s data link to NASA’s ground station.

Northrop Grumman is under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., for the design and development of the telescope, sunshield and spacecraft.

Now ready for fabrication, the Webb spacecraft’s communications support structure stows and holds the communications antenna when folded for launch. When the telescope unfurls in space, the antenna is released and points to NASA’s Deep Space Network, transmitting data to the world’s scientists.

Another spacecraft structure, the solar array, has completed its preliminary design audit and moves into the detailed design phase. The spacecraft’s solar array supplies all electrical power to the science instruments, communications equipment and computers for the entire telescope. The solar array is the first component that deploys once the telescope separates from the launch vehicle and its performance is critical. Without power, there is no science mission.

“This progress represents a steady path forward on spacecraft subsystems,” said Andy Cohen, Webb spacecraft manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We’ve accelerated the structural build of the spacecraft by four and a half months, and have completed qualification testing for the engineering model of the command and telemetry processor, our main onboard computer, responsible for all spacecraft operations and fine guidance of the telescope.”

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.


 
 

 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

NASA partners with leading technology innovators to enable future exploration

Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate c...
 
 

New commercial rocket descent data may help NASA with future Mars landings

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars. “Because the technologies required to land large payloads on Mars...
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA, J. Lotz, (STScI

NASA’s Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass

Image courtesy of NASA, J. Lotz, (STScI The mammoth galaxy cluster Abell 2744 is so massive that its powerful gravity bends the light from galaxies far behind it, making these otherwise unseen background objects appear larger a...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA TV to air Russian spacewalk from International Space Station

NASA photograph Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency will don Orlan spacesuits and step outside the International Space Station Oct. 22, to perform wor...
 
 
Ball Aerospace photograph

Ball Aerospace green propellant infusion mission to host three DOD space experiments

Ball Aerospace photograph The NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) will fly three Defense Department experimental hosted payloads when it launches in 2016. The NASA and Ball ...
 




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>