How Did We Get Here



The efforts of thousands of people across the Unites States, Canada and Europe, for almost two decades achieved this milestone. The optical and science segment of the largest space telescope ever constructed stands complete in one of the largest cleanrooms in the world. Ready to endure its toughest yet battery of testing. Getting to this point wasn't easy. Never mind the logistics and construction challenges, this international presents, before astrophysicists dreams of building Webb could be realized ten technologies that did not exist needed to be created and perfected. They were. To give you a sense of where we are in the mission, the Webb telescope consists of three main segments. The Spacecraft Bus, the sunshield and the telescope, which includes Webb's instruments. This telescope segment of NASA's most ambitious space observatory stands complete and tall in the NASA Goddard Space Center cleanroom. An international team of engineers built and tested this revolutionary telescope segment. Beyond space flight hardware, the Webb mission required building assembly structures test facilities transportation and closures. [music] Engineering copies called pathfinders and even a miniature test bed telescope. Revolutionary lightweight composite material capable of maintaining its shape to one-ten thousandth of a human hair at temperatures near absolute zero forms Webb's backplane and science instrument support structures. Webb's mirror segments began as beryllium ore mined in Utah. They crisscrossed the United States to be formed lightweighted polished gold coated and finally perfectly placed on the backplane structure with the help of a robotic arm. Four state of the art science instruments from NASA and its international partners the European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency, were installed and tested. Each loaded with advanced components and detectors and capable of operating at temperatures near absolute zero. Scientists will use these instruments to tease out answers to astronomical mysteries near the edge of the visible universe, in galaxies closer to home around planets orbiting our star and others like it near by. The Webb telescope segment now stands complete. After launch-phase environment testing at Goddard this segment will endure more cryogenic testing at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Later the telescope will travel to Northrop Grumman in Los Angeles to be mated to its sunshield and spacecraft bus, thus completing the observatory's assembly. The James Webb Space Telescope - our new eye on the universe. [beeps] [beeps]