Quality of mirrors reflects very well

(l to r) Head of Department of Physical Sciences at the OU, Prof. Monica Grady, Paul Comley of Cranfield, Professor Colin Pillinger, Alan Heaume, Nagin Cox and Head of CEPSAR at the OU, Prof. Simon Kelley

(l to r) Head of Department of Physical Sciences at the OU, Prof. Monica Grady, Paul Comley of Cranfield, Professor Colin Pillinger, Alan Heaume, Nagin Cox and Head of CEPSAR at the OU, Prof. Simon Kelley

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A technician involved in making complex mirrors for US space agency NASA has been recognised for the quality of his work.

Alan Heaume, who works in Cranfield University’s Precision Engineering Institute, received a Significant Achievement Award, presented by Nagin Cox, a senior engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Institute has worked on this NASA project for more than six years having produced more than 160 flight mirror surfaces of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope.

The mirrors are accurate to better than 10 nanometres. They provide the JWST with an ability to detect life identifiers of Earth-like planets near far away stars.

Mr Heaume was involved with the project from the offset, making more than 400 surfaces in total. He said he is very proud to have made a contribution to the replacement of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Cranfield University continues to work on major astronomy projects including the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope.