A Webb in a golden cage

Mar 06, 2013 by Rob Gutro
Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

(Phys.org) —This photograph shows support structures wrapped in gold thermal blankets that look like a golden cage. The structure is housed within the vacuum chamber called the Space Environment Simulator, or SES. The SES is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where components of the James Webb Space Telescope are being tested to withstand the extreme temperatures of space.

The entire structure is a system of supports and thermal control devices for the series of thermal tests. Visible in the photo is the lower GESHA (Ground Environmental SES Hardware Assembly).The box in the center photo is a group of four LN2 (liquid nitrogen) panels that are designed to keep it at around 100 kelvins. The panels surround the primary mirror of the OTE ( Element) Simulator or OSIM.

When NASA's Webb telescope launches in 2018, it will fly a million miles from Earth and enable scientists on Earth to see the most detailed pictures of the universe.

Explore further: Bad weather delays SpaceX launch with 3-D printer

More information: For more information about NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, visit: www.jwst.nasa.gov

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The Webb Telescope's 'Golden Spider'

Aug 24, 2012

What looks like a giant golden spider weaving a web of cables and cords, is actually ground support equipment, including the Optical Telescope Simulator (OSIM), for the James Webb Space Telescope. OSIM's ...

NASA's Webb Telescope components meet 'Big Red'

Feb 27, 2013

(Phys.org)—"Big Red" isn't a golden retriever or a NASA engineer, it's the nickname for a small chamber that helps ensure equipment can withstand very cold temperatures that would be experienced in space.

Scanning Webb's surrogate eye

Jul 06, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Engineer Erin Wilson adds aluminum tape to electrical cables to protect them from the cold during environmental testing of special optical equipment. These tests will verify the alignment of ...

Webb Telescope's 'wormholes' in the clean room

Oct 05, 2012

(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 ...

Recommended for you

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

Sep 20, 2014

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

Sep 19, 2014

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

Sep 19, 2014

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 0