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James Webb Space Telescope Passes Milestone

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James Webb Space Telescope Passes a Mission Milestone

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has passed its first significant mission milestone for 2014 -- a Spacecraft Critical Design Review (SCDR) that examined the telescope's power, communications and pointing control systems.

"This is the last major element-level critical design review of the program," said Richard Lynch, NASA Spacecraft Bus Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "What that means is all of the designs are complete for the Webb and there are no major designs left to do."

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It seems to be a radically (?) different design from other space telescopes such as the Hubble. It lacks a lens tube, and I guess that's so the mirrors can fold up for launch.

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It seems to be a radically (?) different design from other space telescopes such as the Hubble. It lacks a lens tube, and I guess that's so the mirrors can fold up for launch.

There is no "lens tube" on Hubble either, it being a reflecting telescope not a refracting.

Omission of the tube is not a radical design difference. Many amateur telescope also do not have tubes (see this wikipedia page on Dobsonian telescopes. Scroll down the page and you will see several instruments lacking a tube) and nor do large professional instruments (see the image of the 100 in Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory on this page, and remember this telescope is 97 years old) .

The tube has two uses, it prevents stray light hitting the optics and it is the structural exoskeleton of the telescope (ie the bit you attach everything else to).

From the orbit that the JWST will occupy (the L2 point, 1.5 million Km from Earth) the main source of stray light is the Sun and it keeps it's sun shade between the sun and itself at all times so no need for a heavy tube. This solution was not an option for Hubble as it is in a low Earth orbit and has to contend with 3 major sources of stray light, the Sun, the Moon and Earth. Hence the heavier option of a tube was the simplest solution.

For the exoskeleton function any suitably rigid structure will do, and the lighter the better.

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The Hubble was such a huge leap forward. I'm glad we're continuing to invest in projects like this and not resting on our laurels.

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Waiting so long on this project but it keeps me interested since it was announced. Cant wait to see this artwork operating in space. Thanks Hubble but u are too old dear friend.

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James Webb Space Telescope Deployment In Detail

This video shows in-depth what will happen when James Webb Space Telescope deploys after launch. For more information, see this description on our website: http://jwst.nasa.gov/faq.html#howdeploy

This video has no sound. It is current to January 2014.

Credit: NASA/Northrop Grumman Corporation

Source: NASA/JWST - Videos

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How long before our government takes it over and makes sure that we only see what they want seen?

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Having worked professionally a little bit at Loral, I'm a something of a satellite geek (and laser jock), so it's fascinating for me to see how they intend to deploy this. It really looks complicated and involved, but I am sure they will have all the kinks worked out by launch.

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This video shows in-depth what will happen when James Webb Space Telescope deploys after launch. For more information, see this description on our website: http://jwst.nasa.gov....html#howdeploy

This video has no sound. It is current to January 2014.

Credit: NASA/Northrop Grumman Corporation

Source: NASA/JWST - Videos

Nice

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