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: Relief as Russian cargo ship docks at space station

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

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

New Horizons spacecraft experiences anomaly

3 hours ago

The New Horizons spacecraft experienced an anomaly the afternoon of July 4 that led to a loss of communication with Earth. Communication has since been reestablished and the spacecraft is healthy.

Dwarf planet Ceres offers big surprises for scientists

3 hours ago

The closer we get to Ceres, the more perplexing the dwarf planet grows. NASA's Dawn spacecraft has found several more bright spots as well as a pyramid-like peak jutting out of the frigid world's surface.

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.