Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE SCOPES
STFC Tests Components For JWST
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Oct 22, 2008


The JWST will be placed in an orbit 1.5 million kilometres from Earth where the 6.5 metre telescope will be cooled to a cold, stable temperature of 25 Kelvin (minus 248 degrees Celsius). This will enable observations to be made of the first faint glows as stars and galaxies began to form after the Big Bang and give us more information about the evolution of our own solar system.

The STFC Space Science and Technology Department (SSTD) has been awarded a BP 800 thousand contract to carry out environmental testing on a cryogenic harness for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) - which will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope and explore the formation of the first stars and galaxies by looking at light from the early Universe.

The telescope is a massive international collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

The harness - the spacecraft's central nervous system - will link the spacecraft systems to the telescope, controlling its alignment and providing temperature information for health monitoring. The test programme will be carried out at SSTD at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire during 2009.

The contract was awarded by the Staffordshire based company Tekdata Interconnect Systems who are manufacturing the harness for Northrop Grumman, the company developing the JWST.

The JWST will be placed in an orbit 1.5 million kilometres from Earth where the 6.5 metre telescope will be cooled to a cold, stable temperature of 25 Kelvin (minus 248 degrees Celsius). This will enable observations to be made of the first faint glows as stars and galaxies began to form after the Big Bang and give us more information about the evolution of our own solar system.

Using the Assembly, Integration and Verification Facility (AIV) at RAL, the harness will be put through vibration testing to ensure it will survive the violence of a rocket launch and thermal testing in which the harness is placed in a vacuum chamber and cycled through the extremes of temperature it will encounter both during launch and in its final orbit.

By testing to slightly more extreme conditions than expected, SSTD will ensure that the harness will function correctly once in space.

Eric Sawyer from SSTD said 'This is a great opportunity for SSTD to work with UK industry on the most ambitious scientific space mission for decades through utilising our high technology test facilities'.

Scientists from STFC are already involved with the JWST mission and are part of the international team developing the Mid Infra-Red Instrument (MIRI) for the JWST.

The verification model for MIRI was built and tested in a specially adapted test facility at RAL, while work to build the flight model spectrometer pre-optics at STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre is now underway.

The AIV test facilities at RAL consist of a vibration test facility, with the capability of cryogenic vibration, numerous thermal vacuum facilities, vacuum bakeout facilities and large clean rooms for assembly and integration of sensitive flight hardware. They are all equipped with the latest instrumentation, and have modern computer-based acquisition systems.

"I am delighted to hear that Tekdata and RAL have won this contract with Northrop Grumman. I am sure the excellent track record of the STFC funded UK MIRI team has helped demonstrate that SSTD is the best place for this work", said Gillian Wright of the UK-ATC, the JWST MIRI European Principal Investigator.

"It is reassuring to know that the testing of these harnesses on which our science ultimately depends is in such safe hands", she added.

.


Related Links
STFC SSTD
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 Reinstalls Main Mirror In SOFIA Airborne Observatory
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Oct 16, 2008
Engineers and technicians from NASA, the German Space Agency and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut recently reinstalled the German-built primary mirror assembly into NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Technicians removed the glass mirror from the modified Boeing 747SP airborne observatory in April 2008 and transported to NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field ... read more


SPACE SCOPES
India Shoots For The Moon In Asian Space Race

NASA Returns To The Moon With Instruments On Indian Spacecraft

Waterless Concrete Seen As Building Block On Moon

Lunar Lander Teams To Compete For NASA Prize

SPACE SCOPES
Laser could aid search for life on Mars

Europe delays ExoMars mission, again

Phoenix Still Probing Mars For Secrets

Shooting Life On Mars

SPACE SCOPES
Simulating Survival In Space

Astrotech Awarded ATK Ares I-X First Stage Processing Contract

British defence ministry releases UFO files

Building A Safer Space Together

SPACE SCOPES
China To Launch FY-4 Weather Satellite Around 2013

Shenzhou 7 Astronauts In Good Health

Chinese Scientists Start Studying Samples From Shenzhou-7

China Sets Sights On First Space Station

SPACE SCOPES
Expedition 18 Crew Docks With Space Station

Expedition 18 Crew Launches From Baikonur

Space station crew might not be expanded

Expedition 18 Crew To Launch From Baikonur

SPACE SCOPES
SES Confirms Three New Arianespace Launches

NASA To Webcast IBEX Spacecraft Launch

New ASTRA 1M Satellite To Be Launched On 31 October

Ariane 5 Is Readied For A Dual-Payload Mission

SPACE SCOPES
Young Earthlike Planets May Glow Brightly Enough To Be Found

Exotic Weather On Distant Worlds

Tides Have Major Impact On Planet Habitability

NASA Supercomputer Shows How Dust Rings Point To Exo-Earths

SPACE SCOPES
NASA Launches IBEX Mission To Outer Solar System

MSV Awarded Patents For Next-Gen Satellite-Terrestrial Comms Network

Theory Explains Mysterious Nature Of Glass

Youngsters Flying High After Winning Top UK Space Competition




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