Ensign-Bickford’s Role in Historic Telescope Launch Provides a Look into 13.5 Billion Years in the Past
Ensign-Bickford’s Role in Historic Telescope Launch Provides a Look into 13.5 Billion Years in the Past

The launch and deployment of the James Webb Space Telescope was a historic achievement for NASA, ESA, Northrop Grumman, ArianeSpace, and many other government and industry participants. Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense (EBAD) was instrumental in this important mission, providing all 178 release mechanisms used during the deployment events that happened as JWST was heading toward its destination orbit.

EBAD’s NEA® non-explosive release mechanisms performed flawlessly from the initial deployment of the spacecraft’s solar arrays, through the critical actuation of 107 mechanisms used during the telescope’s sunshield deployment, and finally to the release of the secondary and primary mirror assemblies.   EBAD worked closely with Northrop Grumman and NASA to validate and qualify these mechanisms to extremely harsh environments to assure mission success of JWST.

EBAD is proud to support the observatory’s mission to study every phase of cosmic history from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.  “This telescope will be the first ever to give us a glimpse of both the universe’s first galaxies as well as stars forming planetary systems today – far beyond our current knowledge,” said Chad Thompson, President of EBAD. “Since the launch, we have watched the telescope come to life with each deployment, starting with the solar arrays and ending with the primary mirrors. We are honored to have teamed with Northrop Grumman and NASA to support this incredible mission and to be part of the international science team that will allow humans to see 13.5 billion years into the past.”

Based in Simsbury, Conn., Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense (EBAD) manufactures the most widely used separation and deployment products in the launch and space industry.  EBAD’s NEA® and TiNi™ space mechanisms have supported industry-critical missions such as the JWST, as well as more than 1000 other space missions.   On behalf of EBAD’s owners, management team, and technical and manufacturing staff, we are proud to support such a historic mission and demonstrate why we are “Right for Your Mission™.”

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