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James Webb: Swallowing the biggest space telescope

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:12 pm

Story : http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40567036




"The operational temperature on orbit is about 30 kelvins - 30 degrees above absolute zero; but we're going to test JWST to slightly lower," explains Juli Lander, a US space agency (Nasa) engineer on the project.

An important goal of the coming weeks is to calibrate all of the optical systems - to have a benchmark against which engineers can begin to understand and troubleshoot any anomalies that might occur when Webb is stationed at its observing position some 1.5 million km from Earth.

Once it fully gets going, the Johnson testing regime should last about a month. It will then take another month for the telescope to be brought back up to ambient conditions, to allow the door of the 17m-high chamber - built originally to run the rule over Apollo hardware - to be opened.

As industrial prime contractor on the project, Northrop Grumman has produced a film to explain its work and the near three-decade effort that has gone into developing the biggest ever space telescope. It can be watched online.

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