NASA Readies Famous 'Chamber A' To Welcome The JWST | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 07.20.15

Airborne 07.21.15

Airborne 07.22.15

Airborne 07.23.15

Airborne 07.24.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 07.20.15

Airborne 07.21.15

Airborne 07.22.15

Airborne 07.23.15

Airborne 07.24.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

Sun, Jan 27, 2013

NASA Readies Famous 'Chamber A' To Welcome The JWST

James Webb Space Telescope To Be Tested In The Vacuum Chamber Used During The Apollo Program

NASA's "Chamber A" thermal vacuum testing chamber famous for being used during Apollo missions has now been upgraded and remodeled to accommodate testing the James Webb Space Telescope. When the next-generation space telescope was being designed, engineers had to ensure there was a place large enough to test it, considering it's as big as a tennis court. That honor has been bestowed on the famous "Chamber A" in the thermal-vacuum test facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

Chamber A is now the largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical test chamber in the world, and made famous for testing the space capsules for NASA's Apollo mission, with and without the mission crew. It is 55 feet in diameter by 90 feet tall. The door weighs 40 tons and is opened and closed hydraulically.
 
For three years, NASA Johnson engineers have been building and remodeling the chamber interior for the temperature needed to test the Webb. Testing will confirm the telescope and science instrument systems will perform properly together in the cold temperatures of space. Additional test support equipment includes mass spectrometers, infrared cameras and television cameras so engineers can keep an eye on the Webb while it's being tested. "Some of the things we've done is upgraded our helium system, our liquid nitrogen system, and air flow management," said Virginia Rivas-Yancy, project manager, Air Flow Management System at NASA Johnson. Temperatures in Chamber A can now drop farther than ever -- down to -439.9 Fahrenheit (-262.1 Celsius or 11 degrees Kelvin) which is 11 degrees above absolute zero.
 
"The air in the chamber weighs 25 tons, about 12 1/2 Volkswagen Beetles; when all the air is removed the mass left inside will be the equivalent of half of a staple," said Ryan Grogan, Webb Telescope Chamber A project engineer at NASA Johnson.
 
A very large clean room is also being prepared near Chamber A where the observatory will be prepped for testing. The test itself will take 90 days. The first 30 days will consist of cooling the chamber down. The next few weeks will include tests on the Webb's operating systems, and the remainder of the time will be spent warming up the chamber to room temperature.
 
Test articles are normally inserted into the chamber by means of a precision mobile crane, but the Webb is so large, it will be folded up and wheeled in.

(Chamber "A" image provided by NASA)

FMI: www.nasa.gov

Advertisement

More News

Airborne At OSH15 Day 5 Redux: Inhofe's Mission, NextGen GA Fund, New Kitfox

Also: Cicare 8, Switchblade Update, Beringer Alaskan Bush Gear, Jack Pelton Interview - Final E-I-C Note: Regularly Daily Airborne Unlimited Programming will resume this Monday now>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (08.01.15)

The BD-5 Web Site The official home of the BD-5 network, the purpose of this web site is to provide information about the Bede Aircraft BD-5, an experimental, homebuilt, single-sea>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (08.01.15): Notice To Airmen (NOTAM)

A notice containing information (not known sufficiently in advance to publicize by other means) concerning the establishment, condition, or change in any component (facility, servi>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (08.01.15)

"The fairing separation is one of our very first critical events. If it doesn't work as planned, it's probable the mission cannot continue." Source: Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin Ori>[...]

ANN FAQ: Aero-Twitters Offer Instant Alerts For Breaking News

Say Hello To Aero-Twitter! Twitter is designed to work on a mobile phone as well as on a computer (and can be accessed via your IM clients). All Twitter messages (called "Tweets", >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC