DEC 24, 2018 8:43 AM PST

NASA Wrapped the James Webb Space Telescope Chassis Like a Present in Time for Christmas

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has seen so many delays in recent memory that it’s not even funny, but assembly teams continue to march forward with the hope that the upcoming Hubble successor will officially launch in 2021 as planned.

In the latest move, NASA engineers wrapped the spacecraft bus and its integrated sunshield into a protective ‘mobile clean room’ that will ensure everything reaches its next destination without being contaminated with dirt, dust, or fingerprints along the way. While it may not seem like much, the components that comprise a space telescope are sensitive to such debris.

This is the chassis of the James Webb Space Telescope, neatul folded into a mobile clean room for transportation.

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

As shown in the images, this mobile clean room is essentially a giant bag that seals the components of the James Webb Space Telescope from the outside world. We can gather that the supported bag in the picture is about as tall as a full-size school bus is long.

The inside of the bag is carefully prepared with clean, pressurized air before being installed over the space telescope components, and a small hole in the rear of the bag maintains positive pressure inside while preventing airflow from the front.

Related: The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope could help NASA search for alien life

Citing one of NASA’s public statements, the mobile clean room gets much of its inspiration from clean tents and clean rooms that are routinely used in buildings. But the mobile clean room, just as the name implies, can be moved around along with its contents.

Speaking of being moved around, NASA prepared this giant mobile Christmas present to move the chassis to a facility where it can be pitted against thermal and vibration testing in a space-like vacuum setting.

Assuming it passes all the tests, engineers will re-wrap the chassis and return it to Northrop Grumman’s facility in Redondo Beach, California to integrate the chassis with the scientific components, bringing the James Webb Space Telescope one step closer to completion and launch.

Every step of manufacturing and preparing the James Webb Space Telescope is a meticulous and tedious process, but it should all be worth it once it reaches outer space to perform scientific observations. After all, it’s the most advanced space observatory ever built for astronomy, and it’s expected to reveal unseen details about the universe as we know it.

Source: NASA  

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Solar Power Stations in Space Could Answer Global Energy Needs
NOV 22, 2020
Solar Power Stations in Space Could Answer Global Energy Needs
W/hile renewable energy technologies have developed exponentially in recent years, a major barrier towards their adoptio ...
DEC 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Advanced Chemistry Module to Aid Future Mars Exploration
DEC 19, 2020
Advanced Chemistry Module to Aid Future Mars Exploration
Despite its resemblance to Earth, Mars, our planetary neighbor, is not exactly a friendly environment for human explorer ...
APR 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
The Stardust That Made Us & Our Planet
APR 08, 2021
The Stardust That Made Us & Our Planet
You may know that the human body is made up of elements that almost all originated in stars, and many of those elements ...
MAY 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
What is the Potential for Life on Mars?
MAY 17, 2021
What is the Potential for Life on Mars?
International organizations are pouring in billions of dollars to find signs of life on Mars. While some evidence points ...
MAY 24, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Plasma jets observed interacting with magnetic fields in far-off galaxy cluster
MAY 24, 2021
Plasma jets observed interacting with magnetic fields in far-off galaxy cluster
New observations from radio telescopes and supercomputer simulations show plasma jets interacting with magnetic fields i ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Get a Glimpse of the 'Violent' Center of Our Galaxy
MAY 29, 2021
Astronomers Get a Glimpse of the 'Violent' Center of Our Galaxy
There's a massive black hole at the center of our galaxy, but it's difficult for astronomers to see exactly what's happe ...
Loading Comments...