James Webb Space Telescope Pathfinder Backplane in the Cleanroom

©NASA

James Webb Space Telescope Pathfinder Backplane

The center section of the "pathfinder" (test) backplane of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope arrived at the Goddard Space Flight Center in July 2014, to be part of a simulation of putting together vital parts of the telescope.

In this photograph, the backplane is hoisted into place in the assembly stand in NASA Goddard's giant cleanroom, where over the next several months engineers and scientists will install two spare primary mirror segments and a spare secondary mirror. By installing the mirrors on the replica, technicians are able to practice this delicate procedure for when the actual flight backplane arrives.

Installation of the mirrors on the backplane requires precision, so practice is important.

James Webb Space Telescope "Pathfinder" Backplane's Path to NASA Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

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