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Protecting Test Hardware to Protect Flight Hardware

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • July 15, 2015
  • Comments Off on Protecting Test Hardware to Protect Flight Hardware

The title may seem a little circular, but this is not a story that often gets told – that is, we have to keep our test hardware clean to keep our flight hardware clean. To that end, a new NASA Goddard tech is being tested out in NASA Johnson’s giant … Continue Reading →


Pluto, July 8

Pluto!

We are finally going to get to see what Pluto looks like, thanks to the New Horizons mission, which is set for a closest approach on July 14. It’s amazing to me that as much as we know about the solar system (and indeed the Universe) that we have not … Continue Reading →


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JWST’s Pathfinder On the Move

2014 held a lot of excitement for NASA Goddard’s cleanroom. We had a huge piece of James Webb Space Telescope hardware there – which made giving talks and tours about the telescope really fun. Especially since it was really impressive looking! This piece of hardware I’m talking about is the … Continue Reading →


Clouds on GJ 1214b, Credit: NASA/ESA

Weather or not…

Recently I got a question about the James Webb Space Telescope and weather on exoplanets and how we know what type of weather is occurring. Essentially, do we take pictures of these planets and then interpret the weather from them? The answer is – not exactly. Aside from the fact … Continue Reading →


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Space Cakes – James Webb Space Telescope edition…

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • December 19, 2014
  • Comments Off on Space Cakes – James Webb Space Telescope edition…

We’ve somehow managed to post about a variety of astronomical and satellite-oriented cakes on this blog. There was Swift’s 10th birthday, and Fermi’s 5th birthday – and then I stumbled across these photos from 2012 of a James Webb Space Telescope cake and had to share. This cake was made … Continue Reading →


SES in the 1960s

The Space Environment Simulator

One of the coolest (literally!) facilities at NASA Goddard is the Space Environment Simulator (SES). It’s a massive thermal vacuum chamber, which is used to expose spacecraft and their components to environmental conditions like those they will experience in space. Image Credit: Maggie Masetti From this page on unique Goddard … Continue Reading →


Titan's Atmosphere

The “Air” Up There

When NASA Goddard scientists Martin Cordiner and Conor Nixon took a look at the chemical make-up of the atmosphere of Titan using a millimeter wave telescope, what they found was surprising. Cordiner led an international team in a study of Saturn’s moon using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a … Continue Reading →


Silver and Gold

Silver and Gold

The other big news for the James Webb Space Telescope is the tests they are doing, mounting mirrors onto the test version of the structure that will secure them to the telescope. This structure is called the backplane, and it’s like the spine of the spacecraft. The test version of … Continue Reading →


Sunshield

A “Seamless” Unfolding

Recently, there was a Google Plus hangout with NASA and Northrop Grumman to talk about the James Webb Space Telescope’s giant sunshield. This sunshield is, as someone on Twitter pointed out, big enough to host a very awkward game of tennis. (Yep, it’s for real the size of a tennis … Continue Reading →


Optimus Prime Spinoff Challenge

“Transforming” STEM Education

We’ve posted in the past about the Real World/In World Engineering Design Challenge. The James Webb Space Telescope has been a foundational partner since the challenge’s start in 2010. This year, RWIW merges with the NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge to add an InWorld component to this video challenge. If … Continue Reading →


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