Taking COCOA cryo

September 28, 2012

(Phys.org)—Testing of the James Webb Space Telescope's Center of Curvature Optical Assembly, or COCOA, recently was completed in the X-ray and Cryogenic Test Facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The optical assembly was operated in a vacuum at both room temperature and cryogenic—or deep cold—temperatures to certify its performance before it is used to test the performance of Webb's 21.3 foot primary mirror. COCOA's operation and performance must be verified alone before it can be used to test Webb under conditions that the observatory will experience in space.

The Webb telescope includes 18 six-sided mirror segments, which work together to form one large, 21.3-foot mirror.

COCOA was built by ITT Exelis of Rochester, N.Y., and its subcontractor Micro Instruments in Rochester, N.Y.

The is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to the . The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb telescope will provide images of the first galaxies ever formed, and will explore planets around distant stars. It is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the .

Explore further: First James Webb Space Telescope primary mirror segment to achieve final step

Related Stories

Cryogenic testing completed for James Webb telescope mirrors

December 21, 2011

Cryogenic testing is complete for the final six primary mirror segments and a secondary mirror that will fly on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The milestone represents the successful culmination of a process that took ...

Webb telescope uses powerful mirrors to detect distant light

September 17, 2012

(Phys.org)—The powerful primary mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to detect the light from distant galaxies. The manufacturer of those mirrors, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., ...

Recommended for you

Young star V1331 Cygni unveils its violent past

April 27, 2016

(Phys.org)—V1331 Cygni is a young variable star that lies in the constellation Cygnus, approximately 1,800 light years away from our planet. The star is known to have a circumstellar disk surrounded by a flattened gaseous ...

Could Earth's light blue color be a signature of life?

April 26, 2016

In 1990, Voyager 1 captured the most distant portrait of our planet ever taken, revealing that from beyond Pluto's orbit, Earth appears as nothing more than a "pale blue dot." In a new study, researchers have tested whether ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.