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A.E. Nash (JPL, Caltech), D. Pearson, J. Hardy, M.J. Lysek, J. Dooley (JPL, Caltech), D. Chaney, R.J. Brown (Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.)
NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is a 1 - meter class cryogenically-cooled space observatory. The constituent sub-assemblies are currently in their assembly and verification phase. To facilitate the assembly and verification of the telescope, the Space Telescope Test Facility (STTF) has been built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The STTF allows for the assembly, alignment, and optical characterization of individual components, as well as the telescope assembly with its cryogenic mechanism, at temperatures from 300 to 5 K in a chamber with interior diameter of 1.4 m, and a height of 2.3 m. The chamber is surrounded by a class 10,000 or better clean room. This paper reports on the functional and operational capabilities of this facility, as well as the lessons learned from the development and operation of the facility.
This work was carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, in partnership with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, and under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The STTF was initiated with funding from NASA Code X, NASA Code S, and JPL institutional resources. Improvements detailed in this paper were funded by the SIRTF Project out of the NASA Office of Space Science.