- 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: Politics
There seems to be a lot going on in the world recently. We could spend hours talking about the Bergdahl swap, or Hillary’s comments regarding domestic terrorists, or Obama’s non-comments about anything meaningful. What does Cantor’s loss in the Virginia … Continue reading
It has been 34 years since the fall of the US Embassy in Tehran. While that is an event that many of us have placed in the dustbins of history, we received a reminder of the event as “tens of … Continue reading
Here is an approach for you. WRITTEN BY A 21 YEAR OLD FEMALE. PUT ME IN CHARGE . . . Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or … Continue reading
The events of 9/11/01 weigh on everyone’s mind today, as well they should. As time passes those memories will fade but, with the technology of the 21rst century and the 24 hour news cycle we will always be reminded of … Continue reading
A reminder piece out of Fred Thompson’s new organization.
Been a busy few weeks here but I thought I would weigh in on a political topic for a moment. Last week Margaret Thatcher passed away. A historical figure with a strength and courage the likes of which Britain had not seen … Continue reading
Over the last few years our society has spent a fair bit of time talking about “The Law of Unintended Consequences“. While this phrase dates back to the 18th century (or earlier) it has really become an adage for describing … Continue reading
Here is a nice little monologue piece about recent events. It is a good story, a little long but it is worth it to listen and watch. Make sure to stay tuned until at least the 7:30 mark, it is … Continue reading
POTUS – Shakespeare Go check this link from Weerd World for an interesting take on POTUS’ lecture earlier this week. My Thoughts on the Inauguration Speech | Weerd World.
I had been trying to figure out a tasteful way to bring up this historical point. It seems Barron has already managed it, so I direct you to: Some Historical Context… – The Minuteman.