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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Achieves Milestone of Successfully Withstanding Launch Stresses

22 Oct 2019, 10:19 UTC
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Achieves Milestone of Successfully Withstanding Launch Stresses
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A full-length shot of Webb’s impressive mirror. (Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn)

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Oct. 21, 2019 (Northrop Grumman PR) – At Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) in Redondo Beach, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope successfully validated its ability to perform key deployments for the first time since its post environmental testing of the Spacecraft Element (SCE) and integration of the SCE and Optical Telescope Element/Integrated Science Instrument Module (OTIS).

“The Northrop Grumman and NASA team has further validated that the James Webb Space Telescope can communicate and deploy as we have rehearsed in simulations, after launch,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman. “This milestone has given us an unprecedented and breathtaking view of the near-fully deployed observatory. I am looking forward to the team’s continued achievements as we march down our path towards launch and mission success.”

A series of post-test check outs and deployments were conducted, including exercising the deployable tower assembly (DTA) and the five-layer sunshield, amongst others. The DTA is a critical structure that stows the OTIS to fit into the rocket fairing. When deployed, the DTA separates the OTIS four feet from the SCE, providing thermal ...

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