The ancient Greeks named the stars after heroes. Now the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is doing it too. That’s how a lump of rock numbered 23155 became Asteroid Judithblack, in honor of a 19â''yearâ''old student who won a US $1500 prize for her scheme to improve the efficiency of an automated box-cutting machine in a factory near her home in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland.

Black, who is now an EE major at Queen’s University, in Belfast, says getting an asteroid named for her ”was better than the money!”

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Two men fix metal rods to a gold-foiled satellite component in a warehouse/clean room environment

Technicians at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems facilities in Redondo Beach, Calif., work on a mockup of the JWST spacecraft bus—home of the observatory’s power, flight, data, and communications systems.

NASA

For a deep dive into the engineering behind the James Webb Space Telescope, see our collection of posts here.

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.

The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.

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