Cryostat, COBE Optical Assembly

Cryostat, COBE Optical Assembly

     

This is an engineering model of the cryostat used on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft. The cover is partly sliced away to display the optical and electronic components within. These include two of the three instruments flown on COBE: the Far InfraRed Absolute Spectrometer (FIRAS) and the Diffuse InfraRed Background Experiment (DIRBE). The assembly was built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and transferred to NASM in 1996. It was displayed in many venues, including the 1988 International Astronomical Union meeting in Baltimore. Over the 10 months before the last of the liquid helium evaporated, the instruments on COBE sent back a wealth of data that helped support and elucidate the thermal hot Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. It was transferred to NASM by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1998. It is now on display in the Explore the Universe Gallery.

Transferred from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Explore the Universe

Type
INSTRUMENTS-Scientific

Materials
Aluminum, mixed metals, plastics and electronics and glass.
Dimensions
3-D: 82.6 x 144.8cm (32 1/2 x 57 in.)
Support (Stand): 1ft 5in. x 3ft 4in. x 3ft 4in. (43.2 x 101.6 x 101.6cm)

This is an engineering model of the cryostat used on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft. The cover is partly sliced away to display the optical and electronic components within. These include two of the three instruments flown on COBE: the Far InfraRed Absolute Spectrometer (FIRAS) and the Diffuse InfraRed Background Experiment (DIRBE). The assembly was built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and transferred to NASM in 1996. It was displayed in many venues, including the 1988 International Astronomical Union meeting in Baltimore. Over the 10 months before the last of the liquid helium evaporated, the instruments on COBE sent back a wealth of data that helped support and elucidate the thermal hot Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. It was transferred to NASM by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1998. It is now on display in the Explore the Universe Gallery.

Transferred from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Explore the Universe

Type
INSTRUMENTS-Scientific

Materials
Aluminum, mixed metals, plastics and electronics and glass.
Dimensions
3-D: 82.6 x 144.8cm (32 1/2 x 57 in.)
Support (Stand): 1ft 5in. x 3ft 4in. x 3ft 4in. (43.2 x 101.6 x 101.6cm)

ID: A19960298000