What do you think happens when lights are switched off in a large sized clean room that presently has NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope? If you see the image above, you can note how the technicians testing telescope in its large sized golden mirrors look like ghostly wraiths. Here they are carrying “light out inspection” in a Spacecraft Systems Development and Integrator Facility (SSDIF) at NASA’s Greenbelt, Ld based Goddard Space Flight Center. The lights of clean room were turned off intentionally to inspect the telescope after it experienced acoustic and vibration testing. The contamination control engineer made use of bright flashlight as well as specific ultraviolet flashlights for contamination inspection as it easier to spot contamination in dark.
A NASA photographer, Chris Gunn, says, “The people have a ghostly appearance because it’s a long exposure.” They left the camera shutters open for more than regular hours because of which the movement of technicians seemed blur. He also made use of a specific light “painting” technique to illuminate the primary mirror. The James Webb Space telescope happens to be a technical successor to Hubble Space Telescope from NASA. it is one of the strongest space telescopes that has been built till date. It was previously named as Next Generation Space Telescope and is one of the most promising segments of NASA’s current Flagship program. For now, it is under construction and is slated to launch in October 2018. It is an international projects that have been led by NASA by their partners that includes Canadian Space Agency and European Space Agency. It will provide unprecedented sensitivity and resolution ranging from visible light to infrared up to the mid-infrared rays. The Hubble Space Telescope has a mirror of 2.4-meter while James Webb Telescope features a bigger and well-segmented primary mirror scaling up to 6.5-meter.
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