After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, emerged unscathed from the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA?s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The Webb telescope's images will reveal the first galaxies forming 13.5 billion years ago. The telescope will also pierce through interstellar dust clouds to capture stars and planets forming in our own galaxy. At the telescope's final destination in space, one million miles away from Earth, it will operate at incredibly cold temperatures of -387 degrees Fahrenheit, or 40 degrees Kelvin. This is 260 degrees Fahrenheit colder than any place on the Earth?s surface has ever been. To create temperatures that cold on Earth, the team uses the massive thermal vacuum chamber at Goddard called the Space Environment Simulator, or SES, that duplicates the vacuum and extreme temperatures of space. This 40-foot-tall, 27-foot-diameter cylindrical chamber eliminates the tiniest trace of air with vacuum pumps and uses liquid nitrogen and even colder liquid helium to drop the temperature simulating the space environment.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
> More: NASA Webb's Heart Survives Deep Freeze Test
Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn...
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Live Space Station Views
Live Space Station Video includes internal views from cameras in the International Space Station's Destiny Laboratory and Harmony module when the resident astronauts are on duty. Earth views from external cameras on the station’s structure will be available during crew off-duty periods.
The video will be accompanied by live audio of conversations between the crew and the Mission Control network.
Television from the station is available only when the complex is in contact with the ground through its high-speed communications antenna and NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. During "loss of signal" periods, Internet viewers may see a test pattern or a graphical world map that depicts the station’s location in orbit above the Earth using real-time telemetry sent to Mission Control from the station.
Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it sees a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but also may provide spectacular views of city lights below.