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


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















SPACE SCOPES
Webb space telescope secondary mirror installed
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 13, 2016


In this photo, engineers are seen installing the secondary mirror onto the telescope. Image courtesy NASA/Chris Gunn. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The sole secondary mirror that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope was installed onto the telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 3, 2016. The Webb telescope uses many mirrors to direct incoming light into the telescope's instruments. The secondary mirror is called the secondary mirror because it is the second surface the light from the cosmos hits on its route into the telescope.

Before its launch, engineers must build and test the telescope rigorously to ensure it survives its launch and its trip one million miles out into space. The James Webb Space Telescope is too large to fit into a rocket in its final shape so engineers have designed it to unfold like origami after its launch.

That unfolding, or deployment, includes the mirrors on the observatory, too.

The secondary mirror is supported by three struts that extend out from the large primary mirror. The struts are almost 25 feet long, yet are very strong and light-weight. They are hollow composite tubes, and the material is about 40-thousandths of an inch (about 1 millimeter) thick. They are built to withstand the temperature extremes of space.

Unlike the 18 primary segments that make up the biggest mirror on the Webb telescope, the secondary mirror is perfectly rounded. The mirror is also convex, so the reflective surface bulges toward a light source. It looks much like the curved mirrors on the walls near parking garage exits that let motorists see around corners.

The quality of the secondary mirror surface is so good that the final surface at cold temperatures does not deviate from the design by more than a few millionths of a millimeter - or about one ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair.

The powerful primary mirror of the Webb telescope is designed to gather the faint light from the first and most distant galaxies. The Webb telescope has 21 mirrors, 18 of which are primary mirror segments working together as one large 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror. The primary mirror was completed when the 18th and final segment was installed on Feb. 4, 2016 at NASA Goddard.

The secondary mirror and all of the mirror segments are made of beryllium, which was selected for its stiffness, light weight and stability at cryogenic temperatures. Bare beryllium is not very reflective of near-infrared light, so each mirror is coated with about 0.12 ounces of gold to enable it to efficiently reflect infrared light (which is what the Webb telescope's cameras see).

The mirrors were built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. Ball is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the optical technology and optical system design. The installation of the mirrors onto the telescope structure is performed by Harris Corporation, a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman. Harris Corporation leads integration and testing for the telescope.

The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb telescope will provide images of the first galaxies ever formed and study planets around distant stars. It is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

.


Related Links
Webb 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

Previous Report
SPACE SCOPES
Discovered for the first time the "birthplace" of a fast radio burst
Rome, Italy (SPX) Feb 26, 2016
An international team of astronomers, including Marta Burgay, Delphine Perrodin and Andrea Possenti from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), identified for the first time the place of origin of a Fast Radio Burst (FRB), enigmatic radio signals lasting just a few milliseconds, which appear without warning in the sky. The discovery was made thanks to observations done with opti ... read more


SPACE SCOPES
China to use data relay satellite to explore dark side of moon

NASA May Return to Moon, But Only After Cutting Off ISS

Lunar love: When science meets artistry

New Lunar Exhibit Features NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Imagery

SPACE SCOPES
Mission to Mars brings Russia and Europe together

NASA targets May 2018 launch of Mars InSight mission

NASA Announces Winning Concepts to Further its Journey to Mars

Close comet flyby threw Mars' magnetic field into chaos

SPACE SCOPES
First tomatoes, peas harvested from mock Martian farm

Planetary Science Institute funded for expanded education public outreach effort

NASA tests inflatable heat shield technology for deep space missions

Russian company set to usher in era of suborbital tourism

SPACE SCOPES
China's ambition after space station

Sky is the limit for China's national strategy

China to Launch Over 100 Long March Rockets Within Five Years

Aim Higher: China Plans to Send Rover to Mars in 2020

SPACE SCOPES
Sticky, stony and sizzling science launching to space station

International Space Station's '1-year crew' returns to Earth

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko return to Earth after One-Year Mission

Paragon wins NASA ISS water processor development contract

SPACE SCOPES
Assembly of Russia's Soyuz Rocket With Earth-Sensing Satellite Completed

Ariane 5 launch contributes to Ariane 6 development

ISRO launches PSLV C32, India's sixth navigation satellite

SpaceX launches SES-9 satellite to GEO; but booster landing fails

SPACE SCOPES
NASA's K2 mission: Kepler second chance to shine

Sharpest view ever of dusty disc around aging star

Evidence found for unstable heavy element at solar system formation

Imaging Technique May Help Discover Earth-Like Planets Around Other Stars

SPACE SCOPES
Total invisibility cloak an impossibility, scientists say

New radar system set for testing

Aerojet Rocketdyne tests 3D printed injector in upper stage engine

Clothes of the future will adjust to the weather, body temperature




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








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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 All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.