9 July 2014
Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) and teammate ATK said they have completed static testing of the primary mirror backplane support structure, moving NASA´s James Webb Space Telescope one step closer to its 2018 launch.
The structure was delivered to Northrop Grumman´s facilities in Redondo Beach, completing a critical path program milestone. Static testing demonstrates that the backplane has the structural integrity to withstand the forces and vibrations of launch, and is the final test prior to starting the integration of the backplane with the rest of the telescope.
The PMBSS is one of the most lightweight (given its size and complexity), precision-alignment truss structures ever designed and built. It is the stable platform that holds the telescope´s science instruments and the 18 beryllium mirror-segments that form the 21-foot-diameter primary mirror nearly motionless while the telescope peers into deep space. The primary mirror is the largest mirror in the telescope, the one that starlight will hit first.
ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.