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Ball Aerospace’s Mirror System, Optics Tech Launched Aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope; Mackenzie Lystrup Quoted

1 min read

A mirror system and optical technology built by Ball Aerospace has launched aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which is meant to detect light from the first stars and galaxies to exist.

The Webb telescope, which uses a Ball Aerospace-built 269 square-foot lightweight mirror system, will be the first segmented telescope deployed in space and will provide infrared imaging of distant stars, Ball Aerospace said Saturday.

Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager of civil space for Ball Aerospace, said the company was honored to play an integral role in the “next great space observatory.”

“Today’s launch is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a closely integrated team that spanned across multiple mission partners and NASA,” said Lystrup.

Ball Aerospace worked with Northrop Grumman and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on the innovation of the Webb Telescope, which launched on Saturday.

Additionally, Ball Aerospace developed 132 cryogenic actuators which were mounted on each mirror segment to control positioning and curvature radius. 

The company also designed and built electronic flight control boxes that can withstand extremely cold temperatures in space and will control the actuators to maintain proper telescope segment alignment.

This launch continues Ball Aerospace’s partnership with NASA. Earlier this month, NASA launched the Ball Aerospace-built Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer, which will study X-Rays from supernova remnants, supermassive black holes and other high-energy objects in space.

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