Space

August 31, 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.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully mates NOAA GOES-R satellite modules

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin successfully mated together the large system and propulsion modules of the first GOES-R series weather satellite at the companyís Space Systems facilities near Denver, Colo. A team of...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/GSFC

NASA Mars spacecraft ready for Sept. 21 orbit insertion

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft is nearing its scheduled Sept. 21 insertion into Martian orbit after completing a 10-month interplanetary journey of 442 million miles. Flight Controllers at Lockheed M...
 
 

Lockheed Martin-built CLIO satellite successfully launched

The U.S. government’s CLIO satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Lift-off occurred at 6:10 p.m., MDT, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle. Initial contact with the satellite was confirmed at 9:08 p.m., MDT. The CLIO system is based on innovative...
 

 

ULA launches 60th Mission from Cape Canaveral

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the CLIO mission for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company launched at 8:10†p.m., EDT, Sept. 16 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. “It is an honor to work with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and all of our mission partners to launch this...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, STScI-RCC14-41a

Hubble helps find smallest known galaxy containing supermassive black hole

Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, STScI-RCC14-41a Artist’s View of M60-UCD1 Black Hole.   Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable p...
 
 
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>