From Gates to space: NASA telescope being assembled in Rochester

What is happening at L3 Harris’ Space Airborne Systems in Gates in Rochester, N.Y. is out of this world.  This is one of the only facilities in the world capable of these efforts.

What these local workers are doing now is testing and assembling the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope that will help scientists explore space as never before: beyond our solar system to the edge of the observable universe.

“The Roman Space Telescope has a sensor on it that will allow it to view much larger areas of space than anything we’ve seen before. If you think about the Hubble – this will be capable of images 100 times larger than what Hubble can collect,” said Borrelli. “It also has a sensor on it that is capable of looking for exoplanets and dark energy,” she said.

The Nancy Grace Roman Telescope is named for NASA’s first chief astronomer, known as the mother of the Hubble telescope. The new one will expand on all Hubble has taught us.

“This is a really exciting mission for us to be a part of. We have 200 people on our workforce here that are working on the Roman Space telescope and it’s really exciting to be part of a program that is so publicly recognized and that the public is so excited about,” Borrelli said.

Part of that work is making sure the Roman will survive in its new environment. “So behind me is one of our large test chambers – capable of going to vacuum – in very cold temperatures. It allows us to put our mirrors and sub-assemblies as well as our assembled space telescopes through environmental testing that simulates the environment of space,” said Borrelli.

An exciting mission that couldn’t happen without the knowledge and talent found right here in Rochester. “It also is a really challenging mission. We get to solve really hard problems every day. And that’s something our employees love to do,” Borrelli said.

NASA hopes to launch the Roman in 2027. L3 Harris employees in Rochester also worked on the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to be launched next month. As it looks deep into space, it will also be looking billions of years back in time.

Original Source: 13WHAM

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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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