After ten days of critical testing, NASA has finally achieved major success on its James Webb Space Telescope. The test was conducted in the cryogenic vacuum chamber. In that testing chamber, the satellite went through freezing temperature. On Saturday, the scientists unleashed the 40-ton door of the chamber which ends the critical stage testing of the satellite ahead of the telescope’s launch.
“After 15 years of planning, chamber refurbishment, hundreds of hours of risk-reduction testing, the dedication of more than 100 individuals through more than 90 days of testing, and surviving Hurricane Harvey, the OTIS cryogenic test has been an outstanding success,” stated Bill Ochs, project manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The completion of the test is one of the most significant steps in the march to launching Webb,” he further added.
To verify its durability and working capability under deep freezing temperature, James Webb telescope cooled with helium and liquid nitrogen. As per the NASA, the telescope will be used in detecting lights that come from another solar system what we call the alien world, and for that, it may need to go through very cold temperature.
NASA says, the test also includes an alignment check of the satellite’s 18 primary mirror segments. That will verify that all the gold-plated hexagonal segments acted like a single mirror. The satellite and all the instruments have been gone through 40-Kelvin temperature which is about 387 Fahrenheit.
NASA statement says “before cooling the chamber, engineers removed the air from it, which took about a week. On July 20, engineers began to bring the chamber, the telescope, and the telescope’s science instruments down to cryogenic temperatures — a process that took about 30 days. During cool down, Webb and its instruments transferred their heat to surrounding liquid nitrogen, and cold gaseous helium shrouds in Chamber A. Webb remained at “cryo-stable” temperatures for about another 30 days, and on Sept. 27, the engineers began to warm the chamber back to ambient conditions (near room temperature), before pumping the air back into it and unsealing the door.”