Behind the Webb: The Great Plane (Episode 11)

The Webb Space Telescope’s eighteen separate mirror segments will be held in place by a graphite structure called a backplane. This one-of-a-kind piece needs to be thermally stable to -400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius), and hold Webb’s mirror segments steady to within one-ten thousandth the diameter of a human hair. Engineers at ATK in Magna, Utah, take us through the process of designing and creating the backplane.