Jennifer Morcone
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

First James Webb Telescope Mirror Arrives at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
What: The first of 18 mirror segments that will fly on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will arrive this week at Marshall Space Flight Center to prepare them to meet the extreme temperatures of space. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

The mirrors will undergo testing at Marshall’s X-ray & Cryogenic Facility. This facility is the world’s largest X-ray telescope test facility and a unique, cryogenic, clean room optical test location. Cryogenic testing will take place in a 7,600 cubic foot helium cooled vacuum chamber, chilling the flight mirror from room temperature down to a frigid -414 degrees Fahrenheit. While the mirrors change temperature, engineers will precisely measure the structural stability of the hardware to ensure it will perform as designed once operating in extreme temperatures of space.

Who: Helen Cole, project manager for JWST mirror activities at the Marshall Center
Jeff Kegley, X-ray Cryogenic Facility testing manager

When: Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 11:00 a.m. CDT

Where: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Building 4718

To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact Jennifer Morcone in the Marshall Public and Employee Communications Office at 256-724-0314 no later than 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 10. Media must report to the Redstone Visitor Center at Gate 9, Interstate 565 interchange at Rideout Road/Research Park Boulevard. Vehicles are subject to a security search at the gate. News media will need two photo identifications and proof of car insurance.

For more information about the James Webb Space Telescope, please visit:


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