Northrop Grumman recently tested a revolutionary new “sunshield” for the James Webb Space Telescope. The sunshield will protect the telescope’s extremely delicate instruments from solar radiation while the telescope’s mirrors point outward into the universe.
The sunshield will act like a parasol, keeping the telescope’s instruments cool by protecting them from the heat of the sun and the warm spacecraft bus electronics. The sunshield will allow the telescope to cool down to a temperature below 50 Kelvin (equal to -370 degree F, or -223 degree C) by passively radiating its heat into space.
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