Mersen aboard NASA's James Webb Telescope
Mersen represents latest French technology to jump aboard NASA’s James Webb telescope project
Paris, November 17, 2021 – Mersen (Euronext FR0000039620 – MRN), a global expert in electrical specialties and advanced materials, is proud to announce its technological contribution to the giant James Webb telescope, scheduled for launch on December 18 aboard the Ariane 5 rocket.
The James Webb Space Telescope (or JWST) was developed by NASA in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). As the successor to the Hubble telescope, it promises to be the world’s next great space science observatory. Orbiting 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, it will be the largest telescope ever sent into space.
Mersen Boostec has made major contributions to one of the four instruments positioned at the rear of the JWST, the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) developed by Airbus for ESA. Operating at ‑230°C, the NIRSpec is capable of simultaneously measuring the infrared spectra of more than a hundred space objects such as stars and galaxies, with high spectral resolutions. It will allow scientists to study the formation and evolution of these phenomena, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, while exploring the atmospheres of exoplanets outside our solar system. NIRSpec consists mainly of three 3-mirror telescopes mounted on a large optical bench as well as several other folding mirrors and their supporting structures. Mersen Boostec’s silicon carbide was selected for the manufacture of all these components due to its extreme thermomechanical stability.
Luc Themelin, Chief Executive Officer of Mersen, said: “After holding the record for the largest telescope in space with Herschel, we are proud of our contribution to this technological marvel, which once again pushes the boundaries of space science.”
Mersen is a global expert in electrical specialties and advanced materials for high-tech industries. With more than 50 industrial sites and 16 R&D centers in 35 countries around the world, Mersen develops custom-built solutions and delivers key products for clients in order to meet the new technological challenges shaping tomorrow’s world. For over 130 years, Mersen has focused tirelessly on innovation to accompany its clients and meet their needs. Be it in wind power, solar power, electronics, electric vehicles, aeronautics, space or countless other sectors, wherever technology is progressing, you will always find a bit of Mersen.
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