Webb Telescope's 'wormholes' in the clean room

Oct 05, 2012 by Rob Gutro
Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

(Phys.org)—This photo gives a "worms eye" view of a robot arm holding a surrogate or simulated mirror segment (black hexagonal shape) for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The arm is placing the surrogate into the test backplane structure in the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The holes in the test backplane aren't wormholes, but the openings in the structure that will support the Webb telescope's primary mirror segments.

The yellow structure supports a that will be used to install the 18 mirror segments on the Webb telescope's primary mirror backplane.

The actual or flight backplane will hold Webb's 18-segment, 21-foot-diameter primary mirror nearly motionless while the telescope peers into deep space. Think of the backplane like a spine for the Webb telescope, because it will support the telescope's beryllium mirrors, instruments, thermal control systems and other hardware throughout its mission.

Explore further: NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

More information: For more information about the backplane, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/technology… /webb-backplane.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

James Webb Telescope flight backplane section completed

Apr 24, 2012

The center section of the backplane structure that will fly on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has been completed, marking an important milestone in the telescope's hardware development. The backplane will ...

Taking COCOA cryo

Sep 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 ...

Recommended for you

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

European space plane set for February launch

Nov 21, 2014

Europe's first-ever "space plane" will be launched on February 11 next year, rocket firm Arianespace said Friday after a three-month delay to fine-tune the mission flight plan.

Space station rarity: Two women on long-term crew

Nov 21, 2014

For the 21st-century spacewoman, gender is a subject often best ignored. After years of training for their first space mission, the last thing Samantha Cristoforetti and Elana Serova want to dwell on is the ...

User comments : 0

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.