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Photo of the Week: The Webb Telescope's "Golden Spider"

September 14, 2012 - 2:32pm

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The James Webb Space Telescope is a large, infrared-optimized telescope that is anticipated to launch in 2018. The spider-like sheets and tubes of wires you see here are the Optical Telescope Simulator (OSIM) for the telescope itself. OSIM will help scientists prepare the Webb telescope for flight by generating a beam of light that the telescope optics will feed into its actual flight instruments. 
 
In this photo, engineers have blanketed the OSIM with special insulating material to help control its temperature while it goes into the deep freeze testing of the Space Environment Simulator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The simulator will mimic the environment that the telescope will experience in operational orbit, more than 1 million miles from Earth. | Photo credit: Chris Gunn/NASA.

The James Webb Space Telescope is a large, infrared-optimized telescope that is anticipated to launch in 2018. The spider-like sheets and tubes of wires you see here are the Optical Telescope Simulator (OSIM) for the telescope itself. OSIM will help scientists prepare the Webb telescope for flight by generating a beam of light that the telescope optics will feed into its actual flight instruments. In this photo, engineers have blanketed the OSIM with special insulating material to help control its temperature while it goes into the deep freeze testing of the Space Environment Simulator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The simulator will mimic the environment that the telescope will experience in operational orbit, more than 1 million miles from Earth. | Photo credit: Chris Gunn/NASA.

Every week, we'll feature our favorite energy-related photo here on Energy.gov, at Facebook.com/Energygov, on Twitter via @ENERGY and on our Flickr photostream. For other photos of the week, view our gallery. If you have ideas for Photo of the Week, send us an email at NewMedia@hq.doe.gov.

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