Aerospace

The "spine" of the James Webb Space Telescope, called the backplane, is in great health for space, according to scientists and engineers.

Recent tests show that the backplane, which supports the big mirrors of the telescope, can handle its trip into space and operate correctly when the observatory launches in 2013.


Scientists and Engineers at Northrop Grumman working with the Backplane or "Spine" of the JWST. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Thailand is doing the final preparations for the launch of its first earth observation satellite called THEOS into orbit in October, Thai Science and Technology Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong said Friday.

The THEOS project is expected to be completed in August or September and be launched into orbit in October as scheduled, the minister was quoted by Thai News Agency as saying.

The French company EADS Astrium, a leading European satellite producer, was contracted by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) under Thai Ministry of Science and Technology in 2004 to build and deliver THEOS. Thai engineers working for the project have been trained in France.