Northrop Grumman has been contracted by NASA to provide key components required for the James Webb Space Telescope. Northrop was contracted by NASA to provide the telescope optics, sunshield, and spacecraft. The critical design review on the spacecraft has now been completed, five months ahead of schedule.
The spacecraft portion of the telescope is a very important part of the James Webb Space Telescope. The spacecraft will provide power and communications for the observatory and is responsible for pointing the telescope and stabilizing the image.
The critical design review was conducted by a panel of experts and was a weeklong process that looked at the details of the design, construction, and testing plans for the spacecraft. The review also looked at the flight software. The team at Northrop has previously completed 76 other reviews on subsystems for the spacecraft in preparation for the critical design review.
The James Webb Space Telescope has three main components. The telescope itself is one and the tennis-court sized sunshield and the spacecraft are the others. The massive sunshield is designed to protect the telescope optics from the heat of the sun and Earth. The shield creates a hot side of the telescope and a cold side. With the CDR over, the construction of the spacecraft fuel tanks, gyroscopes, and solar panels will continue.
SOURCE: Northrop Grumman