The entire Integrated Science Instrument Module with NIRSpec in it is now being tested under operational conditions in "CV2" (Cryo-Vac Test 2). As of mid-July all the instruments have cooled to their operational temperatures near or below 40 K. ISIM now starts its Comprehensive Performance Test in which all the instruments are tested for functionality. Later tests will emulate the more varied observations expected when NIRSpec is operational. STScI NIRSpec staff will assist in these tests along with the ESA scientists and engineers.
At STScI, NIRSpec staff have been continuing to work on the many aspects of preparing to support science operations. That includes experiments with documentation and user information systems, observation modeling to simulate realistic instrument usage, and working with software developers on planning tools.
NIRSpec has been integrated into ISIM, making ISIM now complete. Basic functionality tests under ambient conditions have all been successful. As part of ISIM, NIRSpec will be extensively tested during CV2, which runs from mid-June to mid-September. Later this year, after CV2, new detectors and new MSAs will be installed in NIRSpec, leading up to the final ISIM test, CV3, in 2015.
December 2013 and January 2014
The STScI NIRSpec team held demonstration sessions at STScI and the AAS of our new prototype software for planning complex Multi-Object Spectroscopy observations with the NIRSpec Micro-Shutter Arrays.
The ESA NIRSpec Science Team has delivered the first Calibration Data Products package which includes reference files for all steps in the ramps-to-slopes pipeline developed at STScI. Work is now continuing on the NIRSpec spectroscopic pipeline to be delivered in Fall 2014.
The JWST NIRSpec instrument was shipped to the U.S. from the ESA Astrium test facility in Germany. It arrived at Baltimore's BWI airport on Sept. 20, 2013 and was transferred to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.