Ball Ships JWST Mirrors to Alabama for Cryogenic Test

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Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. said Jan. 6 it had shipped five James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) beryllium primary mirror segments and an engineering development unit to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., for cryogenic testing.

Once testing is completed in March, nine of the 18 James Webb primary mirror segments will have successfully completed the first of two required cryogenic temperature tests.

Ball is building the mirrors as Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems’ principal optical subcontractor for the JWST program.

The $4.5 billion telescope, with its 6.6-meter primary mirror, is scheduled to launch in 2014 aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket paid for by the European Space Agency.