Webb Telescope's NIRSpec Instruments Cover Is Removed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Released on February 10, 2015
The Webb Telescope's Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec) has it's protective cover removed in preparation for surgery. Airbus engineers prep the European Space Agency instrument for an upgrade of its Micro Shutter Array (MSA) and its Focal Plane Assembly (FPA). The NIRSpec instrument is Webb Telescope’s primary spectrograph. This instrument will reveal the physical and chemical properties of objects Webb images. NIRSpec's Micro Shutter Array is a new technology developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for the Webb Telescope mission. The MSA consists of more than 62,000 microscopic doors. These doors can be manipulated to allow light from select sources to reach the detector. This system enables astrophysicists to collect information from 100 objects simultaneously, greatly increasing Webb’s science gathering power. NIRSpec will be the first spectrograph in space that has this capability.