Monday, May 14, 2007

A Plug for my Employer...

This is cool.

The picture is 1:1 scale mock-up of a project I've worked on at my place of employment. It's a very cool project called JWST (pronounced "J- West"). It's really call the James Webb Space Telescope and it's set to replace the present Hubble Telescope.

Here's the press release:

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., May 8, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is displaying a full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope on the National Mall in conjunction with Public Service Recognition Week from May 10 to May 12. The model will be on the Mall near the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The public is invited to view the full-scale, tennis-court sized model, talk to scientists about the next generation space telescope, learn about its mission, and build subscale Webb Telescope models using Lego(r) blocks.

The Webb Telescope, designed to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope, will be NASA's premier space observatory following its launch in 2013. It will travel almost a million miles from Earth into deep space to peer some 13 billion years back in time, capturing infrared images of every phase of our cosmic history -- from the first luminous objects to the birth of stars, assembly of galaxies and formation of planetary systems.

The Webb Telescope is currently being built by Northrop Grumman and its teammates under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The team, including Ball Aerospace, ITT Industries and ATK, is using cutting-edge design, manufacturing and optical technologies to construct the first deployable telescope ever to go into space. It features an ultra-light weight 6.5-meter diameter primary mirror and a unique, five-layer sunshield for passive thermal control.

Public Service Recognition Week is being sponsored by the Council for Excellence in Government and will feature more than 100 federal and civilian displays and programs on the National Mall. This event honors the men and women who serve America as federal, state and local government employees.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

In the picture above you can see just how big this spacecraft is. It actually folds up to fit nicely into the Faring (nose cone) of the space vehicle. The gold mesh feature in the picture will actually be Beryllium mirrors that make up the dish, and will reflect light into the sub-reflector.

The tarp like feature is meant to shield the dish from the Sun's light so as not to interfere with the dish as it searches the heavens for distant stars and galaxies.

Exploring God's creation.

Also check out this link to a short news video on the Jame Webb Telescope.

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