Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE SCOPES
NASA Readies Chamber A For James Webb Space Telescope Fitout
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 30, 2013


Johnson Space Center's Chamber A is a 16.8 m (55 ft) diameter x 27.4 m (90 ft) high, thermal-vacuum test facility and is famous for testing the Apollo spacecraft, with and without the mission crew. Credit: NASA Johnson. For a larger version of this image please go here.

NASA's "Chamber A" thermal vacuum testing chamber famous for being used during Apollo missions has now been upgraded and remodeled to accommodate testing the James Webb Space Telescope.

When the next-generation space telescope was being designed, engineers had to ensure there was a place large enough to test it, considering it's as big as a tennis court. That honor fell upon the famous "Chamber A" in the thermal-vacuum test facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Chamber A is now the largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical test chamber in the world, and made famous for testing the space capsules for NASA's Apollo mission, with and without the mission crew. It is 55 feet (16.8 meters) in diameter by 90 feet (27.4 meters) tall. The door weighs 40 tons and is opened and closed hydraulically.

For three years, NASA Johnson engineers have been building and remodeling the chamber interior for the temperature needed to test the Webb. Testing will confirm the telescope and science instrument systems will perform properly together in the cold temperatures of space. Additional test support equipment includes mass spectrometers, infrared cameras and television cameras so engineers can keep an eye on the Webb while it's being tested.

"Some of the things we've done is upgraded our helium system, our liquid nitrogen system, and air flow management," said Virginia Rivas-Yancy, project manager, Air Flow Management System at NASA Johnson. Temperatures in Chamber A can now drop farther than ever -- down to -439.9 Fahrenheit (-262.1 Celsius or 11 degrees Kelvin) which is 11 degrees above absolute zero.

"The air in the chamber weighs 25 tons, about 12 1/2 Volkswagen Beetles; when all the air is removed the mass left inside will be the equivalent of half of a staple," said Ryan Grogan, Webb Telescope Chamber A project engineer at NASA Johnson.

A very large clean room is also being prepared near Chamber A where the observatory will be prepped for testing. The test itself will take 90 days. The first 30 days will consist of cooling the chamber down. The next few weeks will include tests on the Webb's operating systems, and the remainder of the time will be spent warming up the chamber to room temperature.

Test articles are normally inserted into the chamber by means of a precision mobile crane, but the Webb is so large, it will be folded up and wheeled in.

For more detailed information about Chamber A, click here

.


Related Links
James Webb Space Telescope
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE SCOPES
NASA's Webb Telescope Team Completes Optical Milestone
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 18, 2013
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 and Technologies Corp's facilities in Boulder, Colo. Ball is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the optical technology and lightweight mirror system. "Completing Aft Optics System performan ... read more


SPACE SCOPES
US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Mission would drag asteroid to the moon

SPACE SCOPES
Ridges on Mars suggest ancient flowing water

Changes on Mars Caused by Seasonal Thawing of CO2

Is there life on Mars?

Opportunity At Work At Whitewater Lake

SPACE SCOPES
Companies prepare commercial spacecraft

NASA to recycle parts for science work

TDRS-K Offers Upgrade to Vital Communications Net

How to predict the future of technology

SPACE SCOPES
Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

SPACE SCOPES
NASA to Send Inflatable Pod to International Space Station

ISS to get inflatable module

ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

Competition Hopes To Fine Tune ISS Solar Array Shadowing

SPACE SCOPES
Spacecom And Spacex Announce Agreement For Amos-6 Satellite Launch

S. Korea joins global space club with satellite launch

Russia Set for Year's First Baikonur Space Launch Feb. 5

First Ariane 5 For 2013 Ready For Loading

SPACE SCOPES
The Origin And Maintenance Of A Retrograde Exoplanet

New Evidence Indicates Auroras Occur Outside Our Solar System

Glitch has space telescope shut down

Earth-size planets common in galaxy

SPACE SCOPES
Bioinspired fibers change color when stretched

Stanford Researchers Break Million-core Supercomputer Barrier

Scientists trick iron-eating bacteria into breathing electrons instead

Demagnetization by rapid spin transport




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement