The image above shows a trio of engineers applying thermal insulation to sensitive electronics that will make their way on the space agency's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The process is called blanket closeout.It took two days for the engineering team, working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in Greenbelt, Maryland, to complete the procedure. The experts in this image work for a company called Genesis Engineering Solutions.
The insulating materials are important for keeping the telescope's inner temperature very low and very constant. JWST features the most sensitive detectors ever constructed, and their readings must not be contaminated by stray light or heat coming from the observatory's environment.
The component being blanketed in this particular image is the JWST Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) Electronics Compartment (IEC). The telescope is currently scheduled to launch in 2018.