Redondo Beach, Calif.-based Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems said April 17 that it is ready to begin manufacturing the James Webb Space Telescope’s sunshield support structure following a successful critical design review.

Andy Cohen, Webb spacecraft manager at Northrop Grumman, said the sunshield support structure “is very strong, yet quite light, weighing only 63 kilograms” while supporting a sunshield that will weigh 700 kilograms.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for NASA’s Webb telescope, an $8.8 billion astronomy flagship mission scheduled to launch in 2018.