January 5, 2022
NASA testing the Webb telescopes MIRI thermal guard in a thermal vacuum chamber at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.
Credit: NASA While the Webb group was tensioning the sunshield, other activities were also occurring among the instruments. One turning point: unlocking the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) Contamination Control Cover. Weve asked Gillian Wright, European primary investigator for MIRI, to inform us about it.
” MIRI has a Contamination Control Cover, because the restraints of its extra-cold operating temperature mean that it is not possible to consist of other ways of handling ice contamination, such as heating systems for delicate components. For launch it was most safe to have this cover locked, and the timing for operating it is driven by the temperatures of the observatory.
” To open the cover, we first needed to power on our Instrument Control Electronics and verify that they were operating properly. Then the commands to the cover could be sent out. After effectively completing the tests and opening the cover, the instrument control electronic devices were then powered off prior to the next steps on the sunshield tensioning activities. This crucial step for MIRI was monitored from another location by group members in Europe, all set to supply assistance if it were needed.
Weve asked Gillian Wright, European principal detective for MIRI, to inform us about it.
” The photo here reveals worn out and delighted MIRI group members at the Mission Operations Center in Baltimore, after completing this very first of the numerous MIRI commissioning steps. The MIRI Contamination Control Cover will be closed in the next few days to safeguard the optics from any possible contaminants as the observatory cools.
” The picture here shows tired and happy MIRI group members at the Mission Operations Center in Baltimore, after completing this first of the many MIRI commissioning steps. The MIRI Contamination Control Cover will be closed in the next couple of days to secure the optics from any possible impurities as the observatory cools.