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Northrop Grumman Completes Next Critical Launch Milestones of James Webb Space Telescope

10 Feb 2019, 20:55 UTC
Northrop Grumman Completes Next Critical Launch Milestones of James Webb Space Telescope
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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Spacecraft Element (SCE) successfully completed acoustic and sine vibration testing at Northrop Grumman Corporation in Redondo Beach, California.Acoustic and sine vibration testing validates the structural design and verifies the mechanical workmanship and integrity of the actual flight SCE by subjecting it to simulated rigors of the launch environment.“Mission success remains our focus for Webb, a first of its kind space telescope,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman. “Successful environmental testing of the SCE builds further confidence in its structural design integrity, built to withstand the stresses of launch.”The SCE was subjected to acoustic noise levels of 140.7 decibels (damage to hearing starts at 85dB while speakers at a concert can be as loud as 120dB or more), which simulated the high noise levels generated from rocket engines and turbulent air flow at high Mach speeds during launch. Vibration testing simulates the vibration and shaking Webb will experience during launch. During testing, the SCE was attached to a large electrodynamic shaker, vibrating it along three orthogonal axes. This back-and-forth or “sinusoidal” vibration was applied by starting at a low, subsonic frequency of 5 hertz (cycles per second) and ...

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