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NASA's Cleanroom Receives the Webb Mirrors | by James Webb Space Telescope
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NASA's Cleanroom Receives the Webb Mirrors

The first two mirrors that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope arrived at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and were wheeled into NASA's giant clean room in this photo.


Each of the two mirrors are in their own shipping canister. The canisters will be opened, and the mirrors will be removed and checked. The mirrors await assembly onto the telescope structure.


The mirrors were manufactured, packed and shipped by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo.


The powerful primary mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to detect the light from distant galaxies. The Webb telescope has 21 mirrors, with 18 primary mirror segments working together as one large 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror. The mirror segments are made of beryllium, which was selected for its stiffness, light weight and stability at cryogenic temperatures. Bare beryllium is not very reflective of near-infrared light, so each mirror is coated with about 0.12 ounce of gold.


The Webb telescope is the world’s next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb telescope will provide images of the first galaxies ever formed, and explore planets around distant stars. It is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.


For more information about the James Webb Space Telescope, visit:


Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn


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Taken on September 17, 2012