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.


 
 

 

Headlines September 17, 2014

News: Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State - The Pentagon’s top general opened the door Sept. 16 to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama’s still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an...
 
 

News Briefs September 17, 2014

U.S. to assign 3,000 troops to fight Ebola The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak that has overwhelmed local health care systems and drawn appeals for help from the region and aid organizations. The troops will supply medical and logistical support and boost...
 
 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 

 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 




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>