NASA's Webb telescope's systems engineering evolves

October 18, 2010

As the James Webb Space Telescope enters its next critical phase of development NASA and Northrop Grumman Corporation have forged an integrated, consolidated and "badgeless" Mission Systems Engineering team.

Led by the Project Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the Webb Telescope Mission Systems Engineering Team is being structured to optimize access to Northrop Grumman's system engineering talent during the telescope's critical test and verification phase which follows the successful Mission Critical Design review held in April.

"Northrop Grumman's system engineering expertise will be integrated with NASA Goddard's mission-level system engineering decision-making so we can better manage and streamline the complex integration and test phase of the telescope," said NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Director Rob Strain.

Northrop Grumman is leading Webb's design and development effort for NASA and the company's support is integral to mission-level systems engineering decisions, Strain said. Northrop Grumman engineers will work side-by-side with NASA engineers in conducting trade assessments across all elements of the program including the , observatory, ground system and Integrated Science Instrument Module.

"We look forward to continuing our close relationship with NASA in this new streamlined organization," said Dave DiCarlo, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This evolution will enable the entire project to maximize efficiencies and reduce costs so we can meet our goal of launching the Webb telescope earliest with the least risk."

A single systems engineering organization creates greater efficiencies by streamlining communications and decision-making, consolidating expertise into one integrated team. NASA has worked successfully in integrated teams with contractor systems engineering talent on earlier observatories. The Webb Mission Systems Engineering is modeled after the successful Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Systems Engineering organization.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, Webb will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the very first galaxies ever formed and study unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Explore further: NASA's Webb Telescope sunshield preliminary design review complete

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

Related Stories

Webb Telescope Passes Mission Milestone

April 28, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has passed its most significant mission milestone to date, the Mission Critical Design Review, or MCDR. This signifies the integrated observatory will meet all science and ...

Recommended for you

Astronomers identify new asynchronous short period polar

October 16, 2017

(Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers led by Gagik H. Tovmassian of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has uncovered new details into the nature of a cataclysmic variable known as IGR J19552+0044. ...

The remarkable jet of the quasar 4C+19.44

October 16, 2017

Quasars are galaxies with massive black holes at their cores. So much energy is being radiated from near the nucleus of a quasar that it is much brighter than the rest of the entire galaxy. Much of that radiation is at radio ...

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

October 13, 2017

Combining computer observations and simulations, a new model shows that the presence of neutrals in the gas facilitates the magnetic fields to penetrate through the surface of the Sun producing the spicules. In this study, ...

Astronomers discover unusual spindle-like galaxies

October 12, 2017

Galaxies are majestic, rotating wheels of stars? Not in the case of the spindle-like galaxies studied by Athanasia Tsatsi (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy) and her colleagues. Using the CALIFA survey, the astronomers found ...

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.