Earlier this month, the final acoustic and vibration tests were performed on the James Webb Space Telescope before its launch to space. The results: a resounding success!
While fully assembled, the Webb Telescope was subjected to sound pressure levels above 140 decibels and low-frequency vibrations at Northrop Grumman's California facilities. Together, these two tests replicated the entire mechanical environment that Webb will endure during launch on an Ariane 5 rocket. The tests have demonstrated that Webb can withstand the harsh conditions associated with liftoff, which is the most difficult part of its journey to its destination, 1.5 million kilometres from Earth.
Webb must now be fully extended and undergo a full systems evaluation. It will then be shipped to the Guiana Space Centre, launch site of the European Space Agency (ESA), for launch on .
Webb is the most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. The Canadian Space Agency is collaborating with NASA and ESA by contributing the Fine Guidance Sensor and the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph, which will enable breakthrough discoveries in astronomy.