Tharsus are delighted to have been chosen to supply parts for the new James Webb space telescope, which is the replacement for the Hubble telescope.
Initially components were delivered for structural and thermal models. Components were manufactured from Aluminium 5251, and were laser profiled and CNC bent. All sharp edges were rigorously removed to ensure that when assembled the insulation would not get damaged.
Tharsus design improvements were implemented for the final “flight” components which minimised the number of separate components reducing the risk of failure due to vibration, which is considerable under launch conditions.
The fabricated parts supplied help to protect the scientific instrumentation keeping the multilayer insulation in place.
Initial flight module testing is underway to ensure that the MIRI (mid infra-red instrument) can survive the vibrations of the rocket launch and operate successfully in the cold vacuum of space. Tests will see the unit operating at -266.5 ºC!!
We have supplied initial prototypes for analysis and a second set in proposed final configuration to allow for the full pre-production trial build, so the next set to be built will be the ones that will be sent into space as an integral part of the telescopes heat shield structure for the Mid Infra-Red Instrument (MIRI)
With this project Tharsus metalworking has definitely reached new heights!