Northrop Grumman Finishes Environmental Test on NASA’s Webb Telescope

Posted: May 31, 2019

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Spacecraft Element (SCE) successfully completed its last environmental test, thermal vacuum testing, at Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) in Redondo Beach.

Thermal vacuum testing exposes Webb’s SCE to the extreme hot and cold temperatures it will experience in space. To test these extreme temperature ranges, the chamber uses liquid nitrogen shrouds and heater panels to expose the SCE to cold temperatures as low as -300 degrees Fahrenheit and hot temperatures as high as 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Real-time data collection via flight sensors on the SCE allow engineers to monitor Webb’s electrical/unit functionality and ensures the structure will withstand the rigors of its cold journey to and operation at the second Lagrange point.

“The world’s largest space telescope has to perform in extreme temperatures,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman. “Successful completion of thermal vacuum testing ensures the SCE can endure the volatile conditions it will face and further validates Webb’s readiness for launch.”

Read more here: https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grumman-finishes-environmental-test-on-nasas-webb-telescope