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NASA Space Science

NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the ain't-it-cool dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA said it will soon move some of the larger (46 lb) mirror segments of its future James Webb Space Telescope into a cryogenic test facility that will freeze the mirrors to -414 degrees Fahrenheit (~25 K). Specifically, NASA will freeze six of the 18 Webb telescope mirror segments at the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility, or XRCF, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in a test to ensure the critical mirrors can withstand the extreme space environments. All 18 segments will eventually be tested at the site. The test chamber takes approximately five days to cool a mirror segment to cryogenic temperatures."
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NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @10:21PM (#30703656)

    that they don't get their imperial units mixed up with metric units, and freeze the thing to -414C instead.

  • by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @12:20AM (#30704466)

    It's possible they meant it as a logical tilde, and it could be a temperature other than 25K.

    that will freeze the mirrors to -414 degrees Fahrenheit (not 25 K).

    (((-414 - 32) * 5) / 9) + 273 = 25.2

    Shucks. They probably meant your thing.

  • by MstrFool (127346) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @12:52AM (#30704660)

    Well, at the time they came up with 0-k, they thought so as well, as that is the point that atomic motion stopped. Then they went and discovered that while atomic motion stopped at that temp, sub atomic motion did not. They went on further to discover that they could 'cool' things further and reduce/stop some of the sub-atomic motion. I think they have given up on a true absolute-zero at this point, and simply use it as an arbitrary point where one is needed. Until they can find the smallest bit that makes up what we call reality and see what temp it stops at, we'll never know the true absolute-zero, and I think scientists are finally getting tired enough of looking like fools for shouting to the world they have found it, then some one else getting even farther a few years later. Took a while, but pattern recognition seems to be setting in. There is little that scientists seem to love more then showing up each other, and making a claim of finding an absolute anything that can not be passed or gotten around is a bit like visiting a wolf pen while wrapped in fresh raw steak.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#30706962)

    "The test chamber takes approximately five days to cool a mirror segment to cryogenic temperatures."

    My ex could do it in about one and a half seconds with a single glare. Of course, then she'd have to bask on a rock for a couple of hours to recover.

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