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Author Topic:   Historic Chamber A at Johnson Space Center
Robert Pearlman

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

posted 04-05-2013 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Historic NASA test chamber upgraded for James Webb Space Telescope

A giant NASA vacuum chamber originally built to test the spacecraft that astronauts used to fly to the moon is now ready to check the space agency's next-generation telescope before it launches into deep space.

Chamber A located in the Space Environment Simulation Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will begin testing components for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2014, leading up to the tennis-court-size observatory's planned launch four years later.

The largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical test chamber in the world, Chamber A has been retrofitted over the past several years to be able to reproduce the extremely-cold environment that the telescope will be exposed to once it enters orbit one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth.

"We are merging the past with the future," Mary Cerimele, NASA's laboratory manager for Chamber A, told reporters during a media tour of the facility Thursday (April 4). "The past is encapsulated in all of the technology and structure surrounding Chamber A and the future, the improvements for James Webb."

See the collectSPACE gallery for more photographs of Chamber A.

spaced out

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-05-2013 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That chamber is really an important part of history so it's nice to see it in use again.

Just to add something to Robert's write-up, prior to the 2TV-1 test of the Block II CSM in 1968 the chamber was used for the tests of the Block I CSM (CSM-008) in 1966.

Neil Anderson, Donald Garrett and Joel Rosenweig spent 8 days in the block I CM for the first test and Joe Kerwin, Ed Givens and Joe Gagliano spent nearly 7 days in there for the second test.

It's noteworthy that Joe Gagliano went on to crew the LTA-8 Lunar Module test article for one of the tests in Chamber B, making him the only person to crew both a Command Module and a Lunar Module in NASA's vacuum chambers.

All times are CT (US)

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