June 21, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA

James Webb Space Telescope Demonstration Mirror Coherent Loans to Space Foundation Discovery Center

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – April 9, 2024 – Space Foundationa nonprofit organization founded in 1983, providing education, collaboration and information for the global space ecosystem, today announced an agreement with Consistent (NYSE: COHR) for the company to provide on loan a demonstration mirror developed for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The mirror will be displayed in Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs.

The JWST launched on December 25, 2021, after a 25-year construction project billed as one of the most complex and ambitious undertakings in the history of space engineering and exploration. The telescope almost immediately revolutionized our understanding of the universe, as did the Hubble Space Telescope, providing unprecedented clarity and depth in its observations of the early universe, star and planet formation, and other key astronomical phenomena. Their observations are highly anticipated by the scientific community and are expected to produce groundbreaking discoveries in the coming years.

“Coherent's iconic hexagonal mirror prototype is not only a testament to the technological expertise behind the James Webb Space Telescope, but also a symbol of the collaborative spirit driving humanity's exploration of the universe,” he said. Rachel English, senior curator of the Space Foundation Discovery Center. “We are honored to have this piece on display, where it will undoubtedly inspire the curiosity and ignite the imagination of Discovery Center visitors for years to come.”

The JWST mirrors represent the most visible feature of the telescope. The 6.5-meter (21.3-foot) primary mirror is composed of 18 hexagonal segments made of beryllium and coated with gold to maximize reflectivity in the infrared spectrum. Coherent's contribution to the mirror assembly consisted of surface atomic engineering and the application of advanced thin film coatings to ensure the durability of the JWST hexagonal mirror segments, as well as the secondary, tertiary and fine steering mirrors. The technological innovations required to complete the mirrors represent a series of engineering achievements that were translated into commercial markets, including the manufacture of OLED display panels for mobile devices.

“The iconic hexagonal segments that form the James Webb Space Telescope's primary mirror comprise one of the highest-performance large-scale imaging optical systems used in space imaging,” he said. Dr. Chris Koeppen, chief innovation officer and senior vice president of the Coherent Aerospace & Defense business unit. “We are proud of our successful history in custom and large format optics and of successfully supplying optical and thermoelectric solutions on more than 100 space missions.”

The JWST demonstration mirror will be transferred to the Space Foundation Discovery Center on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in a brief ceremony at the 39th Space Symposiumand attendees are invited to join representatives from Coherent and Discovery Center at this ceremony, which will take place at 4 pm MDT.

About coherent

Coherent enables market innovators to define the future through breakthrough technologies, from materials to systems. We offer innovations that resonate with our customers in diversified applications for the industrial, communications, electronics and instrumentation markets. Headquartered in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, Coherent has research and development, manufacturing, sales, service and distribution facilities throughout the world. For more information, please visit us at coherent.com.

About the Space Foundation

Space Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 that provides education, collaboration and information for the global space ecosystem. Driven by partnerships, the Space Foundation unites the full spectrum of stakeholders – business, government, education and local communities – through the support of corporate members, sponsors, fundraising and grants. Visit the Space Foundation at www.SpaceFoundation.organd follow us on Facebook, x, instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube.


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Tags: Space Foundation, Space Symposium, Space Foundation Discovery Center, Coherent, James Webb Space Telescope, JWST, space ecosystem, space innovation, STEM education, space exploration, science center, space museum, space education

Media Contacts:

Rico Cooper
Vice President of Strategic Communications and Outreach
Space Foundation
(202) 596-0714
(email protected)

Dottie O'Rourke
TECHNOLOGYMarket communications
(650) 344-1260
(email protected)

Amy Wilson
Corporate Communications Manager
(email protected)

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