NASA Report: Webb Telescope structure reads sound after anomaly in previous vibration testing
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was declared to be “sound” after initial examinations. There has been an anomaly earlier this month, the agency announced last December 23. NASA engineers were making progress in finding the root cause of the anomaly last December 3 that stopped the vibration testing of OTIS or Optical Telescope element and Integrated Science.
“All visual and ultrasonic examinations of the [telescope] structure continue to show it to be sound,” NASA said in the update, as per SpaceNews. “Currently, the team is continuing their analyses with the goal of having a review of their findings, conclusions and plans for resuming vibration testing in January.”
"During the vibration testing on December 3, at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, accelerometers attached to the telescope detected anomalous readings during a particular test," the team elaborated as reported by Phys.org.
After the anomalous reading, the team conducted a “low-level vibration” tests to track down and understand the anomaly, and as well as gather data for clues by checking the accelerometer. There are more tests underway to identify the source of the anomaly. The results of the recent examinations show that the Webb telescope has found no visible signs of damage.
The result of this “low-level vibration” will be compared to those records prior to December 3, when the anomalous readings are found. The team will still work over the holidays to ensure that the telescope would be ready on its 2018 launch target. Vibration and Acoustic testing will commence in the New Year.
As further reported, the Webb Telescope was built to be used as a tool to look at the first light of the universe and also to enable humanity to peer back in time to when the first stars and first galaxies were forming. Likewise, it will be utilized to study the history of the universe and the formation of our solar system as well as other solar systems and exoplanets as some of which may be capable of supporting life on planets similar to Earth.
The NASA's James Webb Telescope is set to be launched in 2018. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!