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2012: The Webb telescope's big year of progress
Date:2/5/2013

uments, MIRI is the only one that works at the longest wavelengths. MIRI will be integrated into Webb's science instrument payload known as the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM). An international team of European scientists and engineers collaborated with JPL to produce this instrument.

FGS/NIRISS

The second of four instruments to fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope was delivered to NASA Goddard on July 30. The Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) will enable the telescope to accurately and precisely point at the correct targets. The FGS is packaged together as a single unit with the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) science instrument. The FGS/NIRISS will also be integrated into Webb's ISIM.

The FGS consists of two identical cameras that will allow the telescope to determine its position, locate its celestial targets, and remain pointed to collect high-quality data. The FGS will guide the telescope with incredible precision, with an accuracy of one millionth of a degree of angle. Although the NIRISS is packaged with the FGS, it is functionally independent. NIRISS provides unique capabilities that will aid in finding the earliest and most distant objects in the Universe's history. It will also peer through the glare of nearby stars to detect and study planets in other Solar Systems. The FGS/NIRISS was developed by the Canadian Space Agency.

Backplane

The center section of the Webb telescope's flight backplane structure that will fly on the Webb telescope was completed in April, 2012. The structure will support twelve of the eighteen beryllium mirrors, thermal control systems and other elements during ground tests, launch and during science operations. Measuring approximately 24 by 12 feet yet weighing only 500 pounds, the center section of the backplane meets unprecedented thermal stability requirements. The center section is the first of the three sections of the backplane t
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Contact: Lynn Chandler
Lynn.chandler-1@nasa.gov
301-286-2806
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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