Euclid is a space telescope from the European Space Agency (ESA) that will investigate three extremely dark patches of the sky by measuring shapes and redshifts of galaxies – it is looking back in time 10 billion years! Data from Euclid will enable scientists to study the time period when dark energy accelerated the expansion of the universe. Dark matter and dark energy make up most of the universe, but much is still unknown about these mysterious phenomena.
The Euclid baffle, designed and delivered by Redwire’s team in Belgium, is a lightweight structure that will shield stray light from the Euclid telescope so that it can perform properly without light interference. Despite being a lightweight structure, the baffle can sustain up to 19G in 3 different directions and protects the mission’s two main scientific instruments: a visible imager and a near-infrared spectrograph and photometer.
Even though the baffle is a large static structure, the mechanical design is complex due to very stringent requirements:
- The six mounting feet ensure stiffness for launch while still being able to flex more than 3mm.
- Total mass < 60kg, optimized to locally reduced thickness of 0,45mm.
- The baffle is also a radiator connected to 20 thermal straps to provide temperature control for the electronics.
- Temperatures encountered by this baffle can range down to 70K.
After being fully integrated with the spacecraft and final testing complete, Euclid is ready to launch on July 1, 2023, onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Euclid will be orbiting the Sun at the L2 Lagrangian point, one of the positions where a small body can maintain its position in relation to two bigger bodies without being pulled into the larger object’s orbit. In this case, the Euclid spacecraft will be maintaining its position in between the Earth and Sun –
To learn more about the Euclid mission, check out this video from the European Space Agency: