dr.-ranbir-sinhaThe James Webb Space Telescope launch and the IITKGP Connection

The KGP Chronicle (February 17, 2022)

The James Webb Space Telescope launch and IITKGP

On 25th December 2021, thousands around the world enthusiastically watched the Ariane 5 heavy-lift space launch vehicle carry the  James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) to its orbit.

However, not many are aware that this launch from the European Space Agency (ESA) spaceport in French Guiana had a unique KGP connection.  

Alumnus Dr. Ranbir Sinha (B.Tech/Aero/1981) worked on the structural design and simulation of the Ariane 5 nose-cone and Payload Fairing (PLF), which protected the Webb during the launch.


Launching The Webb

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the next great space science observatory that will take up the baton from the Hubble Space Telescope. It has been designed to seek answers to the unknown of the Universe and make breakthroughs in astronomy. Webb, an international partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA), The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has been tasked with unraveling our origins. It will look into the formation of stars, planets, and galaxies in the early Universe.

The 17 m tall and 5.4 m diameter PLF on the Ariane 5 was made of light-weight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) and Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) Sandwich panels which were assembled with aluminum alloy rings and a magnesium alloy ‘Vertical Separation System’. Dr. Sinha’s responsibility was to ensure its separation without hitting the payload or the launcher. (Read More)