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  • richardmitnick 6:58 am on September 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , James Webb Space Telescope   

    From ESA: “ESA Completes Second Instrument for James Webb Space Telescope” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    6 September 2013

    Markus Bauer
    ESA Science and Robotic Exploration Communication Officer
    Tel: +31 71 565 6799
    Mob: +31 61 594 3954
    Email: Markus.Bauer[@]esa.int

    Peter Jensen
    ESA JWST Project Manager
    Tel: +31 71 565 3545
    Email: Peter.Jensen[@]esa.int

    ESA has completed the Near-Infrared Spectrograph, one of two instruments it is contributing to the international James Webb Space Telescope, a space observatory set for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket in 2018.

    nirspec
    NIRSpec

    The James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, is being built in a partnership between ESA, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency as the successor to the hugely successful Hubble space telescope.

    It will boast a segmented primary mirror spanning a total of 6.5 m in diameter, making it the largest astronomical telescope in space. This mirror will feed light to four state-of-the art science instruments, including the Near-Infrared Spectrograph, or NIRSpec, which has been built for ESA by Astrium GmbH in Germany.

    NIRSpec is designed to detect the light from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the young Universe, roughly 400 million years after the Big Bang, a time when conditions were very different to today, some 13.8 billion years later.

    It will split the infrared light from these objects into its colour components – a spectrum – providing scientists with vital information on their chemical composition, dynamical properties, age and distance. NIRSpec will be able to observe up to 100 such objects simultaneously.

    webb
    James Webb Space Telescope

    A very versatile instrument, NIRSpec will also be used to study the early phases of stellar birth across our Milky Way galaxy, and to analyse the atmospheric properties of planets in orbit around other stars, assessing the potential for life on worlds elsewhere in the Universe.

    “The formal handover of NIRSpec from Astrium to ESA marks an important and exciting milestone in Europe’s contribution to the JWST mission,” said Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, speaking at a ceremony held today at Astrium GmbH in Ottobrunn, Germany.

    See the full article here.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA Space Science Banner


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  • richardmitnick 8:58 am on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , James Webb Space Telescope,   

    From ESA: “Webb’s cool instrument enters payload module” 

    ESASpaceForEuropeBanner
    European Space Agency

    8 July 2013
    No Writer Credit

    “Inside the cleanrooms of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the international James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is beginning to take shape.

    JWST is a future infrared space observatory with a collecting area more than two and a half times larger than ESA’s Herschel – the largest infrared scientific telescope so far flown to space.

    In this image, the MIRI mid-infrared camera and spectrograph, built by a consortium of European scientists and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is being integrated into the science payload module of JWST. Here, MIRI is being held by a special balance beam (left), which is being manoeuvred using a precision overhead crane by the engineer at the base of the ladder.

    miri
    MIRI integration into JWST payload module. No image credit.

    After installation into the payload module (right), the first parts of MIRI’s cooling system were attached to the instrument and the MIRI insulation shield was closed.

    Once in orbit, the telescope and the payload module will have a very low temperature of –233ºC to keep their own infrared emission from overwhelming the signals from the faint and distant astronomical targets that MIRI will study.

    But MIRI, wrapped in an insulation blanket protecting it from the ‘heat’ of the rest of the payload module, will be cooled even further, to –266ºC, the perfect temperature for its state-of-the art detectors.

    MIRI will be capable of penetrating thick layers of dust obscuring regions of intense star birth, it will see galaxies near the beginning of the Universe, and it will study sites of new planet formation and the composition of the interstellar medium.

    In addition to MIRI, ESA is also leading the development of another of JWST’s four instruments: NIRSpec, the Near-Infrared Spectrograph, which will obtain spectra of more than 100 galaxies or stars simultaneously to study star formation and chemical compositions of young distant galaxies.

    See the full article here.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA Technology


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  • richardmitnick 7:46 am on July 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    The Future For Space Exploration: The James Webb Space Telescope 

    This is Webb.

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a planned space telescope optimized for observations in the infrared, and a scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The main technical features are a large and very cold 6.5-meter (21 ft) diameter mirror, an observing position far from Earth, orbiting the Earth–Sun L2 point, and four specialized instruments. The combination of these features will give JWST unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from long-wavelength visible to the mid-infrared, enabling its two main scientific goals – studying the birth and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets.

    The telescope is planned for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on a five-year mission (10-year goal) with a planned launch date in 2018.


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  • richardmitnick 7:52 am on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    From NASA Webb: “NASA’s Webb Telescope’s Last Backbone Component Completed” 

    06.14.13

    No Writer Credit

    “Assembly of the backbone of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the primary mirror backplane support structure, is a step closer to completion with the recent addition of the backplane support frame, a fixture that will be used to connect all the pieces of the telescope together.

    frame
    Technicians complete the center section of the backplane and backplane support frame for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope at ATK’s facility in Magna, Utah. Photo Credit: ATK

    The backplane support frame will bring together Webb’s center section and wings, secondary mirror support structure, aft optics system and integrated science instrument module. ATK of Magna, Utah, finished fabrication under the direction of the observatory’s builder, Northrop Grumman Corp.

    The backplane support frame also will keep the light path aligned inside the telescope during science observations. Measuring 11.5 feet by 9.1 feet by 23.6 feet and weighing 1,102 pounds, it is the final segment needed to complete the primary mirror backplane support structure. This structure will support the observatory’s weight during its launch from Earth and hold its 18-piece, 21-foot-diameter primary mirror nearly motionless while Webb peers into deep space.”

    See the full article here.

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a planned space telescope optimized for observations in the infrared, and a scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The main technical features are a large and very cold 6.5-meter (21 ft) diameter mirror, an observing position far from Earth, orbiting the Earth–Sun L2 point, and four specialized instruments. The combination of these features will give JWST unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from long-wavelength visible to the mid-infrared, enabling its two main scientific goals – studying the birth and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets.

    The telescope is planned for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on a five-year mission (10-year goal) with a planned launch date in 2018.


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  • richardmitnick 7:10 pm on April 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    From NASA Webb: “NASA Engineers Rehearse Placement of Webb Telescope’s NIRSpec and Microshutters” 

    04.15.13
    Rob Gutro
    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    The installation of equipment into the James Webb Space Telescope requires patience and precision. To prepare for the installation of the actual flight equipment and ensure perfection in the installations, scientists need to practice with an identical test unit. Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. are currently rehearsing with the placement of the Webb’s Microshutter Array into the NIRSpec.

    test
    Engineers prepare and install the Microshutter Array simulator onto the NIRSpec Engineering Test Unit at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

    ETUs or engineering test units are simulations of equipment that will fly on the Webb telescope. Back in 2010, NASA Goddard received the ETU of the Webb telescope’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument from its manufacturer in Germany. Currently, engineers and scientists are preparing and installing the Microshutter Array simulator into the engineering test unit of the Webb telescope’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument.

    ‘The implementation of a new technology like this depends not only on the conception of it, but it depends on the skilled hands of the engineers and technicians,’ said Harvey Moseley, a senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. ‘Using the hundred-fold increase in observing speed provided by the microshutters opens the epoch of the universe where the first galaxies are forming and the elements of our current universe.'”

    See the full article here.

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a planned space telescope optimized for observations in the infrared, and a scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The main technical features are a large and very cold 6.5-meter (21 ft) diameter mirror, an observing position far from Earth, orbiting the Earth–Sun L2 point, and four specialized instruments. The combination of these features will give JWST unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from long-wavelength visible to the mid-infrared, enabling its two main scientific goals – studying the birth and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets.

    The telescope is planned for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on a five-year mission (10-year goal) with a planned launch date in 2018.


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  • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    From NASA Webb: “NASA’s Webb Telescope Gets Its Wings” 

    03.15.13
    No Writer Credit

    A massive backplane that will hold the primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope nearly motionless while it peers into space is another step closer to completion with the recent assembly of the support structure’s wings.

    backplane
    Technicians complete the primary mirror backplane support structure wing assemblies for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope at ATK’s Space Components facility in Magna, Utah. ATK recently completed the fabrication of the primary mirror backplane support structure wing assemblies for prime contractor Northrop Grumman on the Webb telescope.
    Credit: Northrop Grumman/ATK

    “This is another milestone that helps move Webb closer to its launch date in 2018,” said Geoff Yoder, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope program director, NASA Headquarters, Washington.

    Designed, built and set to be tested by ATK at its facilities in Magna, Utah, the wing assemblies are extremely complex, with 900 separate parts made of lightweight graphite composite materials using advanced fabrication techniques. ATK assembled the wing assemblies like a puzzle with absolute precision. ATK and teammate Northrop Grumman of Redondo Beach, Calif., completed the fabrication.

    ‘We will measure the accuracy down to nanometers — it will be an incredible engineering and manufacturing challenge,” said Bob Hellekson, ATK’s Webb Telescope program manager. ‘With all the new technologies that have been developed during this program, the Webb telescope has helped advance a whole new generation of highly skilled ATK engineers, scientists and craftsmen while helping the team create a revolutionary telescope.”

    See the full article here.

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a planned space telescope optimized for observations in the infrared, and a scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The main technical features are a large and very cold 6.5-meter (21 ft) diameter mirror, an observing position far from Earth, orbiting the Earth–Sun L2 point, and four specialized instruments. The combination of these features will give JWST unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from long-wavelength visible to the mid-infrared, enabling its two main scientific goals – studying the birth and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets.

    The telescope is planned for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on a five-year mission (10-year goal) with a planned launch date in 2018.


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  • richardmitnick 2:32 pm on February 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    From NASA Webb: “NASA’s Webb Telescope Components Meet ’Big Red’” 

    ‘Big Red’ isn’t a golden retriever or a NASA engineer, it’s the nickname for a small chamber that helps ensure equipment can withstand very cold temperatures that would be experienced in space.

    red
    This photo shows engineers in a clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., placing the MCA (monitor and calibration assembly) into Big Red. In the photo, the MCA is the object under the silver-colored blanketing in Big Red. Image: NASA/Chris Gunn

    The MCA is a key piece of the larger Optical Telescope Element (OTE) Simulator or OSIM. The OSIM simulates the James Webb Space Telescope’s optics for the purposes of testing the science instruments that will fly on the observatory. The OSIM itself will never fly into space, but it is a vital part of the testing program to verify that the science cameras and spectrographs will function as planned. The actual telescope optics assembly, known as the Optical Telescope Element or OTE, is the eye of the Webb telescope observatory. The OTE will gather the light coming from space and provide it to the Webb’s science instruments. Webb needs a large mirror to collect as much light as possible to see galaxies from the beginning of the universe and to detect other faint astronomical sources.”

    See the full article here.

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a planned space telescope optimized for observations in the infrared, and a scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The main technical features are a large and very cold 6.5-meter (21 ft) diameter mirror, an observing position far from Earth, orbiting the Earth–Sun L2 point, and four specialized instruments. The combination of these features will give JWST unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from long-wavelength visible to the mid-infrared, enabling its two main scientific goals – studying the birth and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets.

    The telescope is planned for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on a five-year mission (10-year goal) with a planned launch date in 2018.


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  • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on February 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    From NASA: “The Thermal Design Challenge” 

    NASA

    By Mike Menzel
    February 19, 2013

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled for launch in 2018, is expected to show us the most distant galaxies that formed in the early life of the universe. To do this, it has light-gathering capability unprecedented in a space telescope—its 6.5-meter-diameter mirror has more than six times the light-collecting area of Hubble’s mirror. Also, it is designed to “see” mainly infrared radiation so it can detect the red-shifted radiation of early stars and make out stars and planets that are hidden from visible-light telescopes by clouds of gas and dust.

    NASA James Webb Telescope

    Because infrared is essentially heat, JWST’s telescope and instruments must be extremely cold so those faint signals from distant objects will not be overwhelmed by the “noise” generated by the heat of the telescope and instruments themselves. To maintain the required low temperature—around 40 K or approximately -233˚C—JWST will be located in deep space, about a million miles from Earth, with a sophisticated system of shields and radiators to cool down the hardware to prevent solar radiation from heating the telescope and instruments.

    The challenge to JWST’s thermal design group has been to design and test the hardware that will keep the instruments of this very large observatory at a very low temperature despite being in an environment where it will constantly be bombarded with 200,000 watts of solar energy—and to provide enough design margin to be certain the thermal design will work. With JWST a million miles away, a Hubble-style repair mission is out of the question. If the thermal design fails, so will the mission.

    See the full article here.

    webb
    Technicians at Marshall Space Flight Center completed a series of cryogenic tests on six James Webb Space Telescope beryllium mirror segments at the center’s X-ray and Cryogenic Facility. The mirrors were subjected to extreme temperatures dipping to -415ºF, permitting engineers to measure in extreme detail how the shape of the mirror changes as it cools.Photo Credit: NASA

    Webb is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is managing the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate Webb after launch.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:51 pm on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, ,   

    From SETI Institute: “James Webb Space Telescope – Heidi Hammel (SETI Talks)” 


    SETI Institute

    We owe a thank you to SETI Institute for making this video available. If you are interested in the James Webb Space Telescope, then you will really enjoy this video. The emphasis is on the hardware of the spacecraft.

    SETI Institute – 189 Bernardo Ave., Suite 100
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Phone 650.961.6633 – Fax 650-961-7099
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    Copyright © 2011, SETI Institute.
    Unless otherwise indicated, the documents and graphics stored on this Web server, http://www.seti.org, are copyrighted.
    Links to these documents are permitted and encouraged.
    No copies may be made without permission.


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  • richardmitnick 9:44 am on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , James Webb Space Telescope, , ,   

    From NASA Webb: “NASA’S Webb Telescope Team Completes Optical Milestone” 

    NASA WEBB

    Engineers working on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope met another milestone recently with they completed performance testing on the observatory’s aft-optics subsystem at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp’s facilities in Boulder, Colo. Ball is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the optical technology and lightweight mirror system.

    aft
    Ball Aerospace Technician Robin Russell inspects the Webb Telescope Aft Optics Subsystem during mirror integration activities. The Aft Optics bench, made of lightweight beryllium like the mirrors, holds Webb’s tertiary and fine steering mirrors. The installed, gold-coated tertiary mirror can be seen in the background. Photo courtesy Ball Aerospace.

    ‘Completing Aft Optics System performance testing is significant because it means all of the telescope’s mirror systems are ready for integration and testing, said Lee Feinberg, NASA Optical Telescope Element Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.”

    See the full article here.


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