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NASA, Northrop Integrate James Webb Telescope’s Observatory, Spacecraft Elements

Jeff Brody

NASA and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) have deployed a support component for the James Webb Space Telescope using flight electronics in preparation for the observation platform’s launch to outer space.

Integration efforts took place at a company facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., and saw the space-based observatory’s Optical Telescope and Integrated Science Instrument module interact with the spacecraft element through its secondary mirror support structure, Northrop said Tuesday.

The team used flight software and telemetry capabilities to help operate the spacecraft bus as part of development and testing activities which were conducted in a 1-G environment. The Webb system, which contains carbon fiber elements designed to handle extreme temperatures in orbit, is slated to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope deployed since 1990.

“The deployment of the SMSS marks a successful milestone for Webb, as we move towards full integration of OTIS to the SCE later this year,” noted Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager for the James Webb effort at Northrop.

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