James Webb Space Telescope Self-Portrait

James Webb Space Telescope Self-Portrait

Technical engineer Larkin Carey captures the reflection in the secondary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope

Do not think that you see a banal selfie. This snapshot is part of the NASA James Webb cryogenic testing telescope, taken at the. Johnson The image used to check the line of sight.

During this period, engineers checked the alignment of all optics and showed that individual segments of the primary mirror were able to properly align with each other and the rest of the system. All this took place in a simulated spatial environment, where James Webb will collect data on unknown parts of the universe.

The test involved the ASPA tool. This hardware is protruding from the center of the main mirror. It will be eliminated before the space launch.

Light from space objects hits the main mirror of the telescope James Webb. A concave parabolic primary mirror beats a more focused beam into a circular secondary mirror. This, in turn, is a convex hyperbolic and creates an even more focused beam. In the center of the main mirror is the AOS system, which forwards the light to scientific instruments. The task of the third mirror is to minimize the optical aberrations During the testing period, ASPA released a laser beam with different IR waves, simulating stellar activity. In the first part of the test (“semi-passable”), the laser went directly to the AOS, where it was redirected by secondary mirrors to scientific instruments.

In the second part, the light was sent in the opposite direction through telescopic optics. This confirmed the correct alignment of the primary mirror and the entire telescope.

James Webb Space Telescope Self-Portrait

Close-up of engineer Larkin Carey connecting fiber optics to an AOS assembly above the telescope's main mirror. All instruments are attached according to protocol.

After completing the final fiber-optic connections, Larkin Carey captured this moment. The image was compared with a snapshot taken at a low temperature (inside the camera) in order to check if there are any interferences and failures.

The telescope of James Webb is a complex mechanism, so testing is also technically difficult for him. ASPA allowed to check the alignment of the keys. For this, we had to install 100 fiber optic cables. Larkin was forced to rehearse the procedure for a long time to ensure safe execution.

James Webb Space Telescope Self-Portrait

Larkin Carey Shows Connecting Fiber Optics to an ASPA Assembly Device Over the Main Mirror

Larkin Carey demonstrates the connection of fiber optics to the ASPA assembly device above the main mirror

After cryogenic testing, all instruments and optics will go to Northrop Grumman (California), where they will be integrated with the element of the spacecraft. After the final joining all the details will be repeated tests.

The launch of the telescope is designed for spring 2019.

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