ZME Science: NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope is one step closer to a launch in October after passing two critical test steps. Known as comprehensive systems tests, these procedures are meant to ensure that vital systems aboard a craft are fully functional ahead of a launch. The two steps that the telescope successfully passed are tests pertaining to its internal electronic suite, as well as the confirmation that its four scientific instruments can send and receive data properly through the network it will be using in space. The tests took place at Northrop Grumman in collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
 “It’s been amazing to witness the level of expertise, commitment, and collaboration across the team during this important milestone,” said Jennifer Love-Pruitt, Northrop Grumman’s electrical vehicle engineering lead on the Webb observatory. “It’s definitely a proud moment because we demonstrated Webb’s electrical readiness.” “The successful completion of this test also means we are ready to move forward toward launch and on-orbit operations.”
The tests took 17 consecutive days, during which the team powered on all of the telescope’s electrical components, and ran them through their operation procedures to ensure that they’re all running smoothly and can share data among themselves. All the electrical boxes on the craft have two sides to allow for redundancy, and they were all tested successfully.