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  • Satellite Evolution

James Webb Space Telescope, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, reveals secrets of the Universe

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, built in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation, revealed its first image, marking a new era of astronomical discovery.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope produced the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, this image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is overflowing with detail. The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago

“Some of the most innovative minds in engineering and science came together to create the most powerful telescope ever launched and today, Northrop Grumman marks another historic milestone for our legacy of defining possible in space,” said Tom Wilson, corporate vice president and president, Space Systems Sector, Northrop Grumman. “Northrop Grumman is proud to lead our industry partners in the design, build, and total system integration of the observatory. We’re opening a new era of space exploration with the first image you see today, thanks to the groundbreaking engineering and partnership with NASA and the science community.”

As the most powerful space telescope in space, Webb also is the first space deployable telescope built to fit inside a rocket fairing. The observatory is designed to see the first light from the earliest stars and galaxies.

Ever since completing its million-mile journey to its solar orbit, Lagrange Point 2 (L2), on Jan. 24, Webb has been executing telescope and scientific commissioning activities. This includes the completion of critical mirror alignments, the cooling of its four scientific instruments to their cryogenic operating temperatures, such as the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) which is enabled by Northrop Grumman cryocooler technology, and checking off 17 scientific instrument modes to ready the telescope for its historic mission.

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. NASA heads an international partnership that includes both the European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the Webb Telescope project, and the Space Telescope Science Institute is responsible for science and mission operations, as well as ground system development.

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