James Webb Space Observatory Successfully Completes Acoustic and Vibration Testing (video)

James Space Orbiting ObservatoryWebb "in preparation for the launch, scheduled for October 31 next year, has successfully passed regular tests designed to test the ability of the equipment to withstand maximum acoustic and vibration loads during launch and spacewalk.

James Webb Observatory will replace in orbitthe Hubble space station, which has already provided Earth scientists with a huge array of information. Another successful testing of James Webb's systems and mechanisms brings the time of the long-awaited start closer. The completed tests were the last before the final testing of the observatory for deployment in flight configuration.

Previously, each individual assembly, mechanism and partJames Webb has gone through similar tests on an individual basis. Now the observatory has been tested in assembly to test the equipment's ability to withstand the loads during launch and flight in space under the protection of the head fairing of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

Testing was done on two separatefacilities at the Northrop Grumman Space Park in Redondo Beach, California. Before testing began, the entire space telescope was placed in a mobile clean room built to protect the object from the outside world. The object was then placed in an acoustic chamber and tested at a sound pressure of up to 140 decibels in a spectrum tuned to the signature of the Ariane 5 rocket, which would send the observatory into space.

After successfully completing acoustic testsThe James Webb was transported to another test bed to simulate the low frequency vibrations that occur during takeoff. Upon arrival at another building, "James Webb" was placed on a special shaker capable of accurately replicating vibrations in the vertical and horizontal plane.

James Webb Observatory Projectstarted back in 2001. The dates for putting the observatory into orbit were repeatedly postponed due to financial and technical problems. Since the beginning of the project, its cost has been revised several times, and the introduction of the latest technologies has led to numerous changes in the start dates, originally scheduled for 2007, 2011 and 2018.

The complete assembly of the James Webb Observatory wascompleted only last year, after which ground testing began. In the process, after the final assembly, the launch dates were also postponed five times. Today, the launch date for "James Webb" is October 31, 2021.

In work on design, creation andThe observatory was tested by representatives of 258 companies, agencies and universities from the USA, Canada and 12 European countries. Led the NASA project together with partners - the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency.

Launch Ariane 5 with hidden under fairingspace telescope will occur from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, in the northeast of South America. James Webb will become the most powerful telescope in history and, unlike Hubble, will be able to significantly expand the spectrum of the optical range, monitoring the Universe in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum, adjacent to the visible range. Thus, astronomers will be able to track "old" fading, cool stars and nebulae.

Construction of the James Webb Telescopeprovides for the installation of a multi-section mirror 6.5 meters in diameter, consisting of 18 hexagonal sections, with a total area of ​​about 25 square meters (6 times the area of ​​the "Hubble" mirror). The total mass of the observatory will be 6.2 tons, and the orbit diameter will be about 1.5 million km.

When scanning the universe, "James Webb" willuse four basic tools. These are the NIRCam near-infrared camera, the MIRI device operating in the mid-infrared range, the NIRSpec spectrograph that captures the near-infrared range and the FGS / NIRISS instrument.

The James Webb Telescope is designed to reveal the secrets of space and explore the history of galaxies in the time period from 400 thousand years after the Big Bang to 400 million years after the Big Bang.