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James Webb Space Telescope Makes Its Way to Northrop Grumman

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REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Feb. 27, 2018 — The two halves of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope now reside at aerospace and defense technology developer Northrop Grumman Corp. where they will come together to form a complete observatory.

“This is a major milestone,” said Eric Smith, program director for the Webb observatory program at NASA. “With the arrival of the science payload at Northrop Grumman’s Space Park facility, we will now carefully test the observatory to ensure the work of thousands of scientists and engineers across the globe is ready for launch and will enable people to seek the first luminous objects in the universe and search for signs of habitable planets.”

The Space Telescope Transporter for Air, Road and Sea (STTARS), a specially designed shipping container, houses Webb’s Optical Telescope and Integrated Science instrument module (OTIS). Both were previously at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where OTIS successfully completed cryogenic testing. STTARS was then loaded onto a U.S. military C-5 Charlie aircraft at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base. From there, OTIS took an overnight flight to Los Angeles International Airport  and was then transported to Northrop Grumman.

“It’s exciting to have all three Webb elements — OTIS, sunshield and spacecraft bus — here at our campus,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager for Webb at Northrop Grumman. “The team is excited to begin the final stages of integration of the world’s largest space telescope.”

During the summer, OTIS will receive additional testing before being combined with the spacecraft element to form the complete Webb observatory. Once the telescope is fully integrated, the entire observatory will undergo more tests during what is called observatory-level testing. Webb is scheduled to launch from Kourou, French Guiana, in 2019.

Webb is a space observatory, an international program led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization.
Jan 2018
BusinessNASAJames Webb Space TelescopeNorthrop GrummanSpace Telescope Transporter for Air Road and SeaSTTARSopticsAmericas

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