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.


 
 

 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 
 
nasa-astronaut

Veteran NASA astronaut, spacewalker retires from NASA

Veteran astronaut Mike Foreman has retired from NASA to join a Houston-based consulting firm. A retired captain in the U.S. Navy, Foreman’s last day with the agency is July 31. “Mike is a great American who has served our ...
 
 

Advanced Extremely High Frequency system achieves IOC

Gen. John Hyten, the Air Force Space Command commander, declared initial operational capability for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system July 28. The significant achievement reflects collaboration between numerous organizations, including Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Army, Navy and the developers, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The s...
 

 
LM-C5

Lockheed Martin delivers 29th C-5M Super Galaxy

The 29th Lockheed Martin C-5M Super Galaxy takes off on its delivery flight.  Lockheed Martin delivered the 29th C-5M Super Galaxy to the U. S. Air Force July 28. A Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) aircrew ferried the...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA selects proposals to study neutron stars, black holes, more

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. NASA has selected five proposals subm...
 
 

Northrop Grumman successfully delivers deformable mirror for world’s largest solar telescope

The world’s largest ground-based solar telescope is one step closer to operation with the acceptance of the deformable mirror engineered by AOA Xinetics, a Northrop Grumman company. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, currently under construction on Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii, will offer unprecedented high-resolution images of the sun using the latest...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>