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Team Italia the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Team Italia members took part at the technical tour at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: they had the chance to visit the clean room where part of the incredible James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are being tested and integrated. It was really an exciting experience as that infrared telescope is a jewel of engineering:  a mirror of 6,5 meters diameter built in 18 hexagonal-shaped segments 1 meter wide that weights one tenth of the Hubble telescope mirror!! And what about the folding\unfolding procedure to insert the system in the launcher available volume and deploy it as soon in space? A miracolous mix of smartness and technology! But the mirror design and realization is nothing with respect to the thermal control system design: the challenge is to keep the telescope sensitive element below 50K!!!A sunshield  - sized almost like a tennis court(!) - consists of five layers of Kapton with aluminum and doped-silicon coatings to reflect the sun's heat back into space:an incredibly challenging thermal control design solved elegantly with passive systems; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center personell showed the clever deployng mechanism thought to unroll the flexible kapton over a trussed exagonal structure that support the protective film.

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