Parts arrive from NASA for World’s Largest Space Telescope

February 20, 2018 by  

Two parts recently arrived at Northrup Grumman Aerospace Systems from Houston’s Johnson Space Center that will be used to complete the James Webb Observatory, featuring the largest telescope ever put in space.

In its own custom-designed shipping container, the integrated science instrument module and optical telescope recently arrived at LAX via C-5 Charlie, a U.S. military aircraft. From there it continued on to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an international project, and the product of thousands of engineers and scientists working around the globe. The Webb Observatory has been headed by NASA in conjunction with the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.

Once completed, launched and operational, the infrared space observatory will increase understanding of the solar system and be used to observe distant stars in search of evidence of habitable planets.

This summer workers at Northrop Grumman will combine the telescope with the spacecraft element to complete the Webb observatory. Once fully integrated, the telescope, along with the rest of the observatory, will undergo what is known as observatory-level testing.

This project will provide Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems with promotional opportunities and bragging rights that may be reflected in the corporate gifts it distributes.

The launch of the Webb Observatory is scheduled for 2019 from Kourou, French Guiana.