Geeks in Space

They made their fortunes in engineering. Now they're spending them on space

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Sergey Brin Co-founder Google “I have high hopes for the Mars settlement, so I’ll book my one-way ticket first, and maybe we’ll save you for the Jupiter trip.” - Speaking to Larry Page, 2008 SPACE ACTIVITIES: Invested $5 million in Space Adventures, a space-tourism company. Brin intends to fly himself eventually. FUN FACT: Brin’s mother, Eugenia Brin, is a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. NET WORTH: $12 Billion
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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.


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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