The integrated science instrument module (ISIM) structure, a part of Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center for testing.

The Webb Space Telescope is a next-generation space observatory that will explore deep space phenomena of distant galaxies and nearby planets and stars to find clues about the formation of the universe and the evolution of the solar system.

The ISIM structure supports and holds the four Webb telescope science instruments — the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI), the near-infrared camera (NIRCam), the near-infrared spectrograph (NIRSpec) and the fine guidance sensor (FGS).

The MIRI will provide information on the formation and evolution of galaxies, the physical processes of star and planet formation and sources of life-supporting elements in other solar systems.

The NIRCam will detect the first galaxies to form in the early universe and distant supernova, map the morphology and colours of galaxies and dark matter and study stellar populations in nearby galaxies.

NIRSpec will perform spectroscopy on many objects simultaneously, measuring the distances to galaxies and determining their chemical content.

The FGS, is a broadband guide camera for both guide star acquisition and fine pointing, which will take images of infrared light at individual wavelengths to study chemical elements in stars and galaxies.

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The ISIM and its components will be assembled and tested over the next few years before being incorporated into the main Webb telescope.

The space observatory, a joint project of Nasa, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, is due for launch in 2014.