James Webb Space Telescope completes environmental exam, heads for cryogenic testing

May 9, 2017
At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston it will undergo end-to-end optical testing in a vacuum at its extremely cold operating temperatures.

Image. The James Webb Space Telescope completed its environmental testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Webb telescope will be shipped to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for end-to-end optical testing in a vacuum at its extremely cold operating temperatures. Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has successfully passed the center of curvature test, an important optical measurement of Webb’s fully assembled primary mirror before cryogenic testing, and the last test held at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, before it is shipped to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for more testing.

After undergoing rigorous environmental tests simulating the stresses of its rocket launch, the Webb telescope team at Goddard analyzed the results and compared it to the pre-test measurements using an interferometer. The team concluded that the mirrors passed the test with the optical system unscathed.

The Webb telescope will be shipped to Johnson for end-to-end optical testing in a vacuum at its extremely cold operating temperatures. Then it will continue on to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, CA, for final assembly and testing prior to launch in 2018. The James Webb Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency), and the Canadian Space Agency.

Source: NASA www.nasa.gov/webb

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