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: Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

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

Orion on track at T MINUS 1 Week to first blastoff

2 hours ago

At T MINUS 1 Week on this Thanksgiving Holiday, all launch processing events remain on track for the first blast off of NASA's new Orion crew vehicle on Dec. 4, 2014 which marks the first step on the long ...

Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

9 hours ago

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

18 hours ago

Computer Scientists from The University of Manchester have boosted NASA space missions by pioneering a global project to develop programs that efficiently test and control NASA spacecraft.

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.