Orem company involved in development of Webb Telescope
OREM, Utah – A Utah company based out of Orem played a key role in preparing the giant mirror for the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Telescope.
Utah’s Moxtek worked with the company 4D Technology to invent an optical tool that could measure the smoothness of the Webb Telescope’s mirrors.
A news release said Moxtek started on the Webb Telescope project ten years ago. NASA approached 4D Technology and asked them to develop the measurement tool. That technology did not exist at the time but 4D Technology came up with a solution with the help of Moxtek’s advanced pixelated polarizer.
What is a polarizer?
A polarizer is a filter that blocks specific light waves. For example, polarized sunglasses block harmful reflective light from getting into the eyes.
The Moxtek pixelated polarizer made it possible to stop specific light waves to interfere with measurements on the Web Telescope mirrors.
About the James Web Telescope
NASA will launch the Web telescope on December 22. It’s about the size of a tennis court and its components are folded inside the launch vehicle.
The NASA Web telescope web page said it will orbit the sun about 1.6 km from Earth.
The telescope will detect infrared light which is something the Hubble telescope does not do. The infrared light is expected to detect the glow from the most distant objects in the universe allowing researchers to get a glimpse back in time to the early beginnings of the universe.
Moxtek has manufactured several components that were used on many space projects including:
• 2020 Mars Rover – Perseverance (NASA – X-ray Source & Windows)
• 2019 OCO-3 Orbiting Carbon Observatory (NASA – Polarizers)
• 2019 Chandrayaan-2 XSM (Indian Space Agency – X-ray window)
• 2015 Deep Space Climate Observatory (NASA – Polarizers)
• 2014 OCO-2 Orbiting Carbon Observatory (NASA – Polarizers)
• 2011 Mars Rover – Curiosity (NASA – X-ray Window)
• 2003 Mars Rover – Opportunity (NASA – X-ray Window)
• 2003 Mars Rover – Spirit (NASA – X-ray Window)
• 1999 EPIC Camera – XMM-Newton (ESA – X-ray Window)
• 1996 Mars Rover – Sojourner (NASA – X-ray window)
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