Space

February 1, 2013

Northrop Grumman completes all flight optics for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope with delivery of the aft-optical system

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Northrop Grumman accepted delivery of the aft-optical system from teammate Ball Aerospace, marking the completion of all flight optics for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

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

The AOS is a precision beryllium rectangular optical bench that houses the tertiary mirror and the fine steering mechanism installed at the center of the Webb Telescope’s primary mirror. The AOS is surrounded by a shroud to eliminate stray light and two large radiator panels to keep the assembly cold. This subsystem collects and focuses the light from the secondary mirror and feeds it into the science instruments.

“Our teammates at Ball Aerospace have done an excellent job on all of the optical elements, including the testing and completion of the aft-optical system,” said Scott Texter, Webb Optical Telescope Element manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

Since May 2012, the AOS has undergone a series of thermal, vibration and cryogenic testing to demonstrate that it can withstand the rigorous vibration environment of launch and remain precisely aligned to function at extremely cold temperatures in space. The system successfully completed all performance testing earlier this month.

“This was a unique technical challenge, requiring unprecedented fabrication and testing of the mirrors to ensure operation at the cryogenic temperature of 40 Kelvin,” said Texter.

The AOS will remain at Ball Aerospace to be used in integrated testing with the flight actuator drive unit. The team will finish building the cryogenic electronics that control the mirrors and the source plate assembly that is used to test the complete Optical Telescope Element for the Webb Telescope.




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


 
 

 
APL/NASA photograph

NASA probes studying Earth’s radiation belts celebrate two year anniversary

APL/NASA photograph This image was created using data from the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescopes on NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes. It shows the emergence of a new third transient radiation belt. The new belt is seen ...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 
 
NASA/MSFC image

NASA completes key review of world’s most powerful rocket

NASA/MSFC image Artist concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimate...
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA, Z. Levay, G. Bacon (STScI)

NASA telescopes uncover early construction of giant galaxy

Image courtesy of NASA, Z. Levay, G. Bacon (STScI) Artist impression of a firestorm of star birth deep inside core of young, growing elliptical galaxy. Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages...
 
 

Lockheed Martin, Electro Optic Systems to establish space debris tracking site

Under a new strategic cooperation agreement, Lockheed Martin and Electro Optic Systems Pty Ltd are developing a new space object tracking site in Western Australia that will paint a more detailed picture of space debris for both government and commercial customers. The site will use a combination of lasers and sensitive optical systems like those...
 
 

NASA awards research facilities, engineering support services contract

NASA has awarded a contract for research facilities and engineering support services to InuTeq, LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, in support of the Mission Information and Test Systems Directorate at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. This cost-plus-award-fee contract covers a one-year base period beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and four one-year options, and is valued...
 




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>