Engineers warm NASA’s Webb telescope as end of cryogenic testing nears


The temperature of Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston has begun to rise, signalling the beginning of the end of James Webb Space Telescope’s cryogenic testing.

Engineers began to warm the chamber to bring the Webb telescope back to room temperature – the last step before the chamber’s massive, monolithic door unseals and Webb emerges in October.

“Engineers will perform the warming gradually to ensure the safety of the telescope, its science instruments and the supporting equipment,” explained Randy Kimble, an Integration and Test Project Scientist for the Webb Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Once the chamber and its contents are warmed to near room temperature, engineers will begin to pump gaseous nitrogen (N2) into the chamber until it is once again at one atmosphere of pressure (at sea level) and no longer a vacuum.” 

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