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  CSA: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

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Author Topic:   CSA: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
music_space
Member

Posts: 1050
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 09-09-2010 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Canadian Space Agency release
Guiding Light: The Canadian Space Agency "Eyes" Hubble's Successor - Delivery of test articles to the GSFC

The Canadian Space Agency has delivered a test unit of its contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope, successor of the Hubble Space Telescope, to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

The arrival of the engineering test unit marks a major milestone for the Canadian team. The hardware has been put through its paces at the Canadian Space Agency's David Florida Lab to ensure that the final version will function at peak performance. While all space missions undergo extensive testing, this step is particularly crucial for Webb: unlike Hubble, Webb will be located 1.5 million km from Earth, and will be too far to be serviced by astronauts.

Canada is providing Webb's Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), as well as one of the telescope's four science instruments called the Tunable Filter Imager (TFI). Both are being built in Ottawa and Cambridge, Ontario, by COM DEV International for the Canadian Space Agency. The Fine Guidance Sensor consists of two specialized cameras that are critical to Webb's ability to "see": they will work like a guiding scope to allow the Webb space telescope to locate its celestial targets, determine its own position and remain pointed at an object so that the telescope can collect high-quality data. The FGS will measure the position of guide stars with incredible precision, pinpointing them with an accuracy of one millionth of a degree (the angle formed by someone holding up a quarter at a distance of 1500 km away -- from Montreal to St John's, Newfoundland). The TFI's unique capabilities will allow astronomers to peer through clouds of dust to see stars forming and planetary systems, possibly even exoplanets (planets outside our Solar System). It also offers unique capability to find the earliest objects in the Universe's history. The Canadian Project Scientist for Webb is Dr John Hutchings of the National Research Council Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, BC. Dr René Doyon of the Université de Montréal is the principal investigator for TFI. Canada is also providing functional support of the science operations for the Webb space telescope. The Canadian Space Agency will deliver the flight units of the FGS and the TFI to NASA in 2011.

The Webb space telescope is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Scheduled for launch in 2014, Webb will be the first next-generation large space observatory and will serve thousands of astronomers worldwide for a planned lifetime of 10 years or more. Designed to detect light from as far away as approximately 14 billion light years, 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. Its advanced technology also enables it to discover hitherto unknown phenomena in the Universe.

For more information on Canada's involvement in the James Webb Space Telescope, including imagery, visit the Canadian Space Agency's website.

music_space
Member

Posts: 1050
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 09-09-2010 02:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the moment, only the FGS test article has been delivered, along with a dummy load exhibiting TFI's mass characteristics.

It is not known as of now if the test articles will be returned to the CSA (for exhibition purposes, for instance). Would these be subjected to the Smithsonian Institution's right of first refusal?

The CSA already exhibits a nice model of the JWST at its head office near Montreal.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2012 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Canadian Space Agency release
Minister Paradis unveils the made-in-Canada technology that will direct the world's most powerful space telescope

Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), unveiled Canada's contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The CSA is contributing a two-in-one instrument that will direct the telescope precisely, allowing it to study stars and planets forming in other stellar systems. The highly advanced, made-in-Canada technology will be delivered to NASA for integration into the Webb telescope on July 30.

"Canada has a proud legacy in space and we are once again pushing the frontier of what is possible. These two outstanding technologies are perfect examples of how Canada has secured its world-class reputation," said Minister Paradis. "Our Government is committed to ensuring the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of such a vital economic sector."

"Imagine the challenge at hand here: to design and deliver technology capable of unprecedented levels of precision to conduct breakthrough science on board the largest, most complex and most powerful telescope ever built," said Steve MacLean, President of the CSA. "The Webb telescope will be located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth — too far to be serviced by astronauts like Hubble was. At that distance, the technology simply has to work. This is the outstanding level of excellence Canadians are capable of achieving. It's something for all of us to be proud of."

Slated for launch in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope is a joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the CSA. The Webb telescope will examine the first stars and galaxies to form after the Big Bang; the formation of new stars; and extra-solar planetary systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth. Canada is providing Webb's Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), and the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS). Both were designed, built and tested by COM DEV International in Ottawa and Cambridge, Ontario, with technical contributions from the Université de Montréal and the National Research Council Canada, and scientific guidance of the FGS science team. The CSA's contribution guarantees Canadian astronomers a share of observing time once the telescope launches.

The FGS consists of two identical cameras that are critical to Webb's ability to "see." Their images will allow the telescope to determine its position, locate its celestial targets, and remain pointed to collect high-quality data. The FGS will guide the telescope with incredible precision, with an accuracy of one millionth of a degree.

The NIRISS will have unique capabilities for finding the earliest and most distant objects in the Universe's history. It will also peer through the glare of nearby young stars to unveil new Jupiter-like exoplanets. It will have the capability of detecting the thin atmosphere of small, habitable, earth-like planets and determine its chemical composition to seek water vapour, carbon dioxide and other potential biomarkers such as methane and oxygen.

The FGS-NIRISS science team is jointly led by Dr John Hutchings of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Professor René Doyon from the Université de Montréal, Director of the Mont-Mégantic Observatory and member of the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec (CRAQ). The team includes astronomers from: COM DEV; the NRC; Saint Mary's University; the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI); the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich); the Université de Montréal; the University of Rochester; and the University of Toronto.

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