Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) Pathfinder Experiment Inflatable Sunshield in Space (ISIS) 1999-01-5517
The Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) design requires a large sunshield to passively cool the telescope and detectors to temperatures in the 60° to 100° Kelvin range. The government yardstick design for the NGST observatory has baselined an inflatable sunshield. The NGST project plans to fly a one-third-scale sunshield during a Shuttle flight in late 2000. The Inflatable Sunshield in Space (ISIS) experiment will demonstrate stable deployment of a large, multilayer thin film sunshield and ridigization of inflatable struts. A new method of modeling large membrane systems will be developed, and data will be obtained in order to validate the model. The flight experiment will also demonstrate the viability of the thermal approach by verifying separation and flatness of membrane layers.