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Proceedings Paper

The James Webb Space Telescope: contamination control and materials
Author(s): Elaine M. Stewart
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Paper Abstract

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), expected to launch in 2021, will be the next premier observatory for astronomers worldwide. It is optimized for infrared wavelengths and observation 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. JWST includes an Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) that contains the four main instruments used to observe deep space: Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), and Fine Guidance Sensor/Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS)1.

JWST will make ultra-deep near-infrared surveys of the Universe to see back 13.5 billion years to “First Light” which occurred 100 – 250 million years after the Big Bang when the first stars and galaxies formed. Its ability to observe very high redshifts will enable astronomers to study the faintest galaxies, observe stars forming within clouds of dust, determine how galaxies evolved, and search for exoplanets1,2.

JWST is extremely sensitive to even small amounts of contamination, which can directly cause degradation to performance of the telescope, and impact the mission lifetime. Contamination control has been an essential focus of this mission since conception of the JWST observatory3.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2018
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10748, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018, 107480H (19 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2319687
Show Author Affiliations
Elaine M. Stewart, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10748:
Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018
Carlos E. Soares; Eve M. Wooldridge; Bruce A. Matheson, Editor(s)

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