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NASA James Webb Space Telescope Vibration Test Status 16 December 2016

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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Updated Dec 16, 2016 (originally posted Dec 7, 2016)

The James Webb Space Telescope is undergoing testing to make sure the spacecraft withstands the harsh conditions of launch, and to find and remedy all possible concerns before it is launched from French Guiana in 2018. 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. Further tests to identify the source of the anomaly are underway.

The engineering team investigating the vibe anomaly has made numerous detailed visual inspections of the Webb telescope and has found no visible signs of damage. They are continuing their analysis of accelerometer data to better determine the source of the anomaly. They have conducted a low-level vibration of the hardware to measure its responses, and are comparing the results with data obtained prior to the anomaly. Engineers are currently running diagnostics to determine the cause and to assess any potential impacts. We will provide updates as they are available.

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