NASA Testing the Webb Telescope's MIRI Thermal Shield

NASA Testing the Webb Telescope's MIRI Thermal Shield

NASA engineer Acey Herrera recently checked out copper test wires inside the thermal shield of the Mid-Infrared Instrument, known as MIRI, that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The shield is designed to protect the vital MIRI instrument from excess heat. In this photo, taken on January 12, 2013, the thermal shield was about to go through rigorous environmental testing to ensure it can perform properly in the extreme cold temperatures that it will encounter in space. Herrera is working in a thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. As the MIRI shield lead, Herrera along with a thermal engineer and cryo-engineer verify that the shield is ready for testing. On the Webb telescope, the pioneering camera and spectrometer that comprise the MIRI instrument sit inside the Integrated Science Instrument Module flight structure, that holds Webb's four instruments and their electronic systems during launch and operations. The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency. NASA Photo by Chris Gunn/UPI