DEC 06, 2017 08:02 AM PST

James Webb Space Telescope Emerges from NASA's Chamber A

The heart of the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is now on the move once again after NASA opened the door on its historical Chamber A testing facility in Houston, Texas.

Engineers stand next to the massive heart of the James Webb Space Telescope after removing it from NASA's Chamber A testing facility in Houston, Texas.

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Following several weeks of cryogenic testing, engineers have dollied the heart of the JWST out of the massive vacuum chamber. These tests enabled NASA to ensure that the components powering the observatory would withstand the cold and airless environment of outer space; and that they did.

Not only did NASA capture readings from the observatory’s many sensors, but the space agency also commenced a primary mirror alignment test, which the JWST purportedly passed with flying colors.

The next destination for the heart of the JWST is Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California. There, engineers will fasten the JWST’s heart to the rest of the assembled spacecraft chassis to complete the observatory.

The chassis includes the frame of the space vehicle itself and the massive foil-like Sun shield meant to block the Sun’s light from interfering with JWST’s sensitive instruments while in space.

Related: Here's what the James Webb Space Telescope's completed primary mirror looks like

Immediately after completion of assembly, NASA will move forward with some additional testing to ensure that the completed product functions as expected before launching it into space to commence observations.

Being that the James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful infrared space telescope ever realized, there's an immeasurable amount of excitement surrounding its completion.

By the Spring season of 2019, it will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope as astronomers' go-to observatory and help validate many of the findings produced previously by its predecessor. With a little bit of luck, it might even answer some of the endless questions about our universe that remain today.

You can actively check on the status of the James Webb Space Telescope via NASA’s WEBB Cam page.

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
JUN 06, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUN 06, 2018
New Horizons Wakes Up From Low-Power State to Prep for Upcoming KBO Encounter
NASA’s Pluto-visiting New Horizons spacecraft has finally woken up after being in a low power mode-like state since December 21st of last year. Citin...
JUN 18, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUN 18, 2018
Proposed CAESAR Mission Could Teach Us More About Comet 67P
Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is one of the most captivating space rocks in the entire solar system, but we still don’t know very much about...
JUN 20, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUN 20, 2018
New Report Outlines How NASA Will Prepare for Potential Near-Earth Object Collisions
NASA juggles a bevy of space-related responsibilities, such as exploring the solar system and studying the most distant reaches of the universe, but one of...
JUL 23, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 23, 2018
Earth is Pretty Small Compared to Everything Else in Space
To you and I, the Earth might seem like a large place. But in astronomical terms, our planet is actually quite small. Comparatively, the gas giant planets...
AUG 06, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 06, 2018
NASA's TESS Spacecraft Spies a Comet
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) officially began scientific operations at the end of last month, a move that will help the space...
AUG 19, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 19, 2018
Lockheed Martin Shows Off Deep-Space Habitation Module Concept
There’s more to deep-space missions than merely launching astronauts into outer space and saying “good luck!” The eventual goal necessita...
Loading Comments...