NASA has concluded assembly and initial full-systems testing of the James Webb Space Telescope built by Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace ahead of electrical analysis and critical software operations for the observatory.
NASA said Monday that the comprehensive systems test (CST) serves as the first full-systems evaluation for the telescope to assess the performance of its software and electronic parts.
In the coming months, the team will conduct acoustic and vibration tests to mimic launch scenarios as well as a full-system scan in preparation for the observatory’s launch scheduled for March 2021.
“We have a lot of pride, and feel a lot of personal reward in what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last year in assembling Webb into its final form, and with the completion of this latest systems evaluation we can confidently move forward knowing that the assembly was a success,” said Randy Pollema, electrical integration and testing lead for the James Webb effort at Northrop.
Teams worked for 15 consecutive days to perform thousands of procedural steps during the CST phase, according to NASA.