- NASA's Webb Sunshield Stacks Up to Test!
The Sunshield on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is the largest part of the observatory—five layers of thin membrane that must unfurl reliably in space to precise tolerances. Last week, for the first time, engineers stacked and unfurled a full-sized test unit of the Sunshield and it worked perfectly. The Sunshield is about the length of a tennis court, and will be folded up like an umbrella around the Webb telescope’s mirrors and instruments during launch. Once it reaches its orbit, the Webb telescope will receive a command from Earth to unfold, and separate the Sunshield's five layers into their precisely stacked arrangement with its kite-like shape. The Sunshield test unit was stacked and expanded at a cleanroom in the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, California. The Sunshield separates the observatory into a warm sun-facing side and a cold side where the sunshine is blocked from interfering with the sensitive infrared instruments. The infrared instruments need to be kept very cold (under 50 K or -370 degrees F) to operate. The Sunshield protects these sensitive instruments with an effective sun protection factor or SPF of 1,000,000 (suntan lotion generally has an SPF of 8-50). In addition to providing a cold environment, the Sunshield provides a thermally stable environment. This stability is essential to maintaining proper alignment of the primary mirror segments as the telescope changes its orientation to the sun. The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. For more information about the Webb telescope, visit: www.jwst.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webb For more information on the Webb Sunshield, visit: http://jwst.nasa.gov/sunshield.html Photo Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn Rob Gutro NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Category Archives: Heroes
It is commencement time in the US. Every year, speakers have an opportunity to bore the audiences with an inspirational / educational message at higher education establishments across the nation. An exception to the rule this year seems to be … Continue reading
June 6, 1944. 180,000 Allied troops. 50 miles of beaches, with tall cliffs, and heavily fortified positions. 5,000 ships 13,000 aircraft Focused on the goal of gaining a toehold in Northern Europe, liberating the continent, and defeating Nazi Germany. General … Continue reading
A reminder piece out of Fred Thompson’s new organization.
Here’s your feel good story for this Friday. It is a little aged, as I think I saw this a couple of years ago. It’s worth 10 minutes of your time to go and watch it though. Bastogne sniper still … Continue reading
On this day 237 years ago our Corps became a reality. The first Marines were recruited, and signed their papers on this day in 1775. In a small tavern in Philadelphia the United States Marine Corps was born. Today we celebrate that … Continue reading
Rarely do I delve into the “meme” of “Someone You Should Know”. However, recent events have drawn me to three individuals that need to be singled out for doing their jobs, and paying the ultimate price for doing them well. … Continue reading
With the news out of Fallon yesterday, I am somewhat at a loss for words. As part of the military community, you understand that there will be losses. Friends that for whatever reason abruptly depart from our lives. Yesterday, saw … Continue reading
When I first started getting interested in history I gravitated toward the stories of World War II. Watching Victory at Sea, The World at War, and so on. As I grew into my teens and started to really have to … Continue reading
This is a must see film for 2012. From the operators that have seen the pre-release version, I have heard nothing but good things. After watching this vid, I begin to see exactly why.