Contamination Control Considerations for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST).
- Wooldridge, Eve M.
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- The NASA Space Science Program, in its ongoing mission to study the universe, has begun planning for a telescope that will carry on the Hubble Space Telescope's exploration. This telescope, the 'Next Generation Space Telescope' (NGST), will be 6-8 meters in diameter, will be radiatively cooled to 30-60 Kelvin in order to enable extremely deep exposures at near infrared wavelengths, and will operate for a lifetime of 5-10 years. The requirement will be to measure wavelengths from 1-5 microns, with a goal to measure wavelengths from 0.6-30 microns. As such, NGST will present a new contamination control challenge. The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) performed one of three preliminary feasibility studies for the NGST, presenting a telescope with an 8 meter, deployable primary mirror and a deployable secondary mirror. The telescope would be radiatively cooled, with the optical telescope assembly (OTA) and the science instrument module (SIM) isolated from the warmer spacecraft support module (SSM). The OTA and the SIM would also be shielded from sunlight with an enormous, inflatable sun-shield. The GSFC telescope was designed for launch on an Atlas HAS, which would require launching the telescope in a stowed configuration, with the SSM, antennae, sun-shield, primary mirror 'petals', and secondary mirror deployed once on-orbit. The launch configuration and deployment scenario of an exposed telescope measuring near infrared and cooled to 30-60 K are the factors presenting contamination hazards to the NGST mission. Preliminary science requirements established are: less than 20% reflectance decrease on optical surfaces over the wavelength range, and less than 0.3% obscuration of optical surfaces. In order to meet these requirements, NGST must be built and launched with careful attention to contamination control. Initial contamination control design options include strict selecting of materials and baking out of hardware down to the component level, minimizing or eliminating exposure of the OTA to sunlight or earth albedo during deployment and early on-orbit operations, cleaning of the primary and secondary mirrors at the launch site, cleaning of the launch vehicle fairing, locating thrusters and vents on the warm side of the sun shield only, and the possibility of including a deployable cover if that is shown to be necessary.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19980237489.
19-24 Jul. 1998; San Diego, CA; United States.
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