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REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The first of the five sunshield layers that will make it possible for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to image the formation of stars and galaxies created more than 13.5 billion years ago, was delivered to Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Space Park facility April 24.

Northrop Grumman is designing the Webb Telescope's optics, sunshield and spacecraft for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland Innovative sunshield membranes are being designed and manufactured by NeXolve Corporation, a subsidiary of ManTech International Corporation (NASDAQ: MANT) of Huntsville, Alabama.

The Webb Telescope will be the largest telescope in space. Its sunshield, which is the size of a tennis court, is constructed with five individual layers of Kapton, which effectively reduces the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Each successive layer of the sunshield is cooler than the one below, preventing the interference of background heat with the telescope's infrared sensor.

"Through extensive testing we have proven that the innovative sunshield design works," said Jim Flynn, Webb sunshield manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We are thrilled to receive the first flight layer from NeXolve as we prepare for 2018 launch."

NeXolve is manufacturing the other four layers and will individually shape-test each to ensure they meet requirements. This delivery to Northrop Grumman signifies the beginning of final flight hardware completion for the sunshield. Next, Northrop Grumman will integrate the final flight layers into the sunshield subsystem, to conduct folding and deployment testing as part of the final system validation process.

"Our entire ManTech team has worked diligently to achieve the manufacturing completion of the first sunshield layer and successfully deliver it to our partners at Northrop Grumman," said Greg Laue, sunshield program manager, NeXolve. "Delivery of the first flight layer is the culmination of years of development and manufacturing and we are thrilled to have accomplished this major program milestone."

The Webb Telescope is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb Telescope will observe distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.

About ManTech

ManTech is a leading provider of innovative technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs. ManTech's expertise includes C4ISR; cybersecurity; global logistics; IT; intelligence; systems engineering; test and evaluation; environmental, range and sustainability services; and healthcare analytics and IT. Additional information on ManTech can be found at

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Sunshield is Taking Shape at ManTech's NeXolve Subsidiary

Company Completes Manufacturing and Shape Testing of First Flight Layer of Telescope's Sunshield System

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT) announced today that its NeXolve subsidiary has completed manufacturing and shape testing of the first layer of the James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield system. NeXolve is subcontractor to Northrop Grumman in manufacturing the one-of-a-kind sunshield membranes.

The Webb Telescope is NASA's largest science mission and will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. The five-layer sunshield system is designed to protect the telescope from the extreme conditions it will experience while in operation. As big as a tennis court, the sunshield layer is made of Kapton® (Kapton is a registered mark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), a very thin, high-performance plastic with a reflective metallic coating. Each layer of the sunshield system must maintain a unique, complex shape on orbit to sustain the optimum environment for the telescope.

NASA Partners with Leading Technology Innovators to Enable Future Exploration
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visits a contractor partner clean room to view a satellite before launch. Hands-on experiences with technology partners will help technology drive exploration.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visits a contractor partner clean room to view a satellite before launch. Hands-on experiences with technology partners will help technology drive exploration.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Bill Ingalls
Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative (ECI) pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate created the ECI to enable a highly collaborative, joint-partnering work environment between the best and brightest NASA early career innovators and leading innovators in industry, academia and other government organizations.

"Continued investment in technology is a requirement for the success of NASA's current and future missions," said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Investing in the future leaders in space technology in partnership with the nation’s leading innovators is part of our overall portfolio strategy for mission success."

Teams selected for the ECI pilot program and their topic areas are:

  • High-Speed Video Imaging with Disruptive Computational Photography Enabling Technology, submitted by NASA's Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, with partner, Innovative Imaging and Research (I2F) of Mississippi. The team will develop and demonstrate a system for high-speed, 3-D, High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. Video imaging will be performed at the chip level using computational photography, providing NASA with advanced visualization technologies to meet future needs.
  • Lightweight Integrated Solar Array and Transceiver (LISA-T), submitted by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama with partner, Huntsville's NeXolve, to build and demonstrate a deployable solar array and integrated transceiver system. The technology represents a novel approach to developing a lighter weight, higher power technology solution for future spacecraft energy needs.
  • On-Orbit Autonomous Assembly of Nanosatellites, submitted by NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia with external partner Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. The team will develop advanced autonomous docking hardware based on Halbach magnetic array technology. Reliable autonomous rendezvous and docking techniques provide enabling technologies for future mission needs.
  • Integrated Display and Environmental Awareness System (IDEAS), submitted by NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, with Orlando area partners Abacus Technology and Purple Rock Scissors, and the Florida Institute of Technology of Melbourne. The team will develop a wearable computer with an optical heads-up display providing augmented reality data and communications, enhancing real-time operations on the ground and in space.

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate received 28 proposals from NASA early career teams for the ECI pilot program. Selected proposals will refine their plans and negotiate agreements with partner organizations. Projects will be funded up to $1 million per year for a period of up to two years.

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is building, testing and flying the technologies needed for the aerospace missions of tomorrow. The directorate continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in important technology thrust areas. These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration.

For more information about NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:



David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror.  The project is working to a 2018 launch date.

The Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.



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In 2013, NeXolve Corporation successfully demonstrated its commitment to excellence with 100% on-time delivery and quality of their products to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. NeXolve's ability, workmanship, and superior standard of performance have been instrumental in supporting the commitments of Lockheed Martin to its customers.Supplier-Certificate.pdf

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5 lgThermalbright™ Polyimide is a breakthrough high temperature highly reflective essentially opaque white polyimide film. Typical polyimides are orange colored and highly absorptive when filled with white pigments, but Thermalbright is bright white in color and contains no silicones, acrylics or non-polyimide polymers. 

Unlike traditional "white polyimides,"Thermalbright™ Polyimide is not a white acrylic laminate on top of an orange polyimide, it is a single film of white polyimide. This novel material is useful in thermal control applications requiring good UV and VUV durability.

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4 lgTR-Clad™ (short for “Transmit/Receive-Clad”) is a fundamental building block for ultralightweight flexible circuits and flexible antennas. TR-Clad™ Flexible Laminates are starting materials from which flexible circuits and flexible antennas are etched with lithographic processes. 

Lowest Dielectric Constant. TR-Clad™exhibits a record low dielectric constant of 2.5, lower than the dielectric constant of 3.4 to 3.7 reported for competitive materials of all polyimide construction. The remarkably low dielectric constant reduces cross-talk between circuit traces and provides for the fabrication of finer feature sizes and allows for higher frequencies. This enables high data-rate applications as well as additional miniaturization which provides for additional lowering of the final product weight. 

3 lgLightweight material replaces metals and glass to lower the cost of satellitesFAIRFAX, Va., Aug 25, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT) announced today that its Colorless Organic/Inorganic Nanocomposite (CORIN™) transparent polyimide film, used in space and electronics applications, has been recognized by R&D Magazine as one of the top 100 most innovative and technologically significant new products of the year. Called the "Oscars of Invention" by the Chicago Tribune, the R&D 100 awards are given annually to the technologies that have the potential to greatly affect further scientific discovery, human life, and society. Previous award winners include fax machines, ATMs and HDTV. 

POSS® NANOTECHNOLOGYManTech SRS Technologies, a unit of ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq: MANT) has developed CORIN™ XLS Polyimide using POSS® technology. It is a colorless, organic/inorganic nanocomposite, which delivers unsurpassed levels of optical clarity, oxidative stability and stability to solar radiation. This fluorinated polyimide offers the highest atomic oxygen durability, as well as the highest light transmission of all CORIN grades, making it an ideal lightweight substitute material for glass used in space photovoltaic arrays in low earth orbit.