James Webb Telescope Launch Update

The James Webb Space Telescope is on quite a state of evolutions in its journey to launch, and that journey is not over. Initially, the launch date for the Telescope was in 2007, but now the estimated launch date is set for some time in March of 2021. The original 2007 launch had the project at the cost of $500 million. Due to several delays with the global coronavirus pandemic, the project now has an estimated cost of $10 billion. Wrong cleaning solvents and fasteners misused on the Telescope mirrors caused the latest delay in the launch. The journeys of space entail massive planning, and with that comes unforeseen changes. However, if history has taught anything, it is that changes like these can lead to great achievements. 

For all its adjustments and changes, James Webb had a successful testing and full deployment of its mirror systems in early June 2020. Despite setbacks, NASA will not decrease the funding budget for this massive project. The James Webb Space Telescope has been in the works for nearly three decades. With enormous effort behind it, a new date will hopefully come soon for the launch. For more information about James Webb and other NASA ventures that involved Lenox Laser, visit our blog. We will give updates on this ongoing venture when possible and send best wishes to all included in the project. 

NIH Study and Lenox Laser Blog

The mind is one of the most potent tools that humanity has at its disposal. From thinking up creative ideas to decorate the house from the genius of the late Stephen Hawking to the theories of Albert Einstein, the brain has endless potential. As the intrigue around the brain has grown, scientists have continued gathering information about such a unique body part with the help of technology. During a National Institute of Health five-year brain study, Lenox Laser helped create microprobes to improve brain protein delivery.

This study included such prestigious places like New York University and RayBiotech Inc. offered their services to help in this monumental and potentially groundbreaking venture. Lenox Laser provided laser-perforated and push-pull perfused microprobes. These microprobes would be implemented primarily in the brains of rats combined with polypeptide hormones. The goal in finding these proteins would be so that scientists can break down the gene makeup such debilitating diseases as Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of Dementia. The other goal was to improve the efficiency and speed of delivering the proteins through microprobes. It is hoped still to this day that further studies will give us more information for fighting these diseases. This could also lead to diagnoses of unknown brain issues and other unforeseen ailments. We were honored to take part in such a notable study.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all who took part in this grand effort. Lenox Laser is in a constant state of amazement at the work and breakthroughs that the world makes every day in medicine. To read about the study, please go here. To learn about our laser drilling, click here, and to learn about our flow products, click here.

The SpaceX Dragon Crew – An Overlook

On May 31, 2020, NASA made history with the SpaceX program launching two American astronauts into space on a privately-owned spaceship. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were the history-making team on a planned six-week mission to the international space station. The world will be forever in awe at the Dragon crews’ achievements as the mission is a true milestone in history. 

Courtesy of NASA

Astronaut Doug Hurley has been in the astronaut program an astounding 20 years joining in the year 2000. Hurley, who proudly served in the US Marine Corps for more than 24 years, accumulated over 5,500 hours of flight time over his career. Hurley was already an operations officer upon being selected by NASA for the astronaut program. 

Along with Doug Hurley is astronaut Bob Behnken, who also joined the program in 2000. Behnken was a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, where he helped manage and develop new weapon systems. He has over 1,500 hours of flight experience, a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mechanical engineering from Washington University, and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. 

With these monumental achievements of these two extraordinary and brave men, it will be incredible for the entire world to witness the outcome of Dragon’s discoveries. Most remarkable of all, the planet will experience it together. Also, a new first for any NASA launch, during the broadcast around the world, audiences could see two different camera angles – one inside the cockpit of the shuttle and one outside. We at Lenox Laser wish the mission and the astronauts all the best of luck and safe return home. 

SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch Update

With storms raging across Florida’s “Space Coast,” the SpaceX decided against the launch of its Crew Dragon shuttle on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020. SpaceX has stated that there will be another chance to launch the spacecraft on Saturday, May 30th, 2020, if the weather permits it. However, this seems to also be in doubt with weather forecasts – until the time of writing – predict more stormy weather to hang over the site of the launch on Saturday. Should Saturday also turn out to be not an optimal day for the launch, SpaceX will push it to the next day – Sunday, May 31st, 2020. This news has hit the two astronauts of the Crew Dragon space shuttle the hardest.

Astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken have been training for the past four years in anticipation of the world’s first privately funded spaceship. As if it were routine, they put on their suits and went to the launch pad. After talking with their respective families and buckling in for the launch, they awaited the go-ahead from command to begin the launch sequence. Meanwhile, SpaceX leaders were anticipating the final call from the forecasters, who had remained optimistic all day, despite the bad weather. Ten minutes before launch, however, the mission managers overseeing the launch received word that weather conditions would not improve and, therefore, had to cancel the launch. Both NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX founder Elon Musk both stated that mission safety was of higher priority than the historical significance of the mission.

We at Lenox Laser support the safety of the mission’s crew, and we are looking forward to the rescheduled launch on Saturday. We are excited by the possibility of the world’s first privately owned and operated spaceship and wish the best for both the crew and the supporters of the mission.

SpaceX Demo-2 Launch Update

On May 27, 2020, SpaceX and NASA are planning to launch the SpaceX Demo-2 mission for its own Crew Dragon spacecraft. It will be the first American astronaut mission for SpaceX. SpaceX is founded in 2002 by Tesla creator, Elon Musk. His hopes are to use the program to have human colonization of Mars in the future. Two astronauts will pilot the mission — Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — which, if successful, will last three months. The cost of this mission is near a staggering $8 billion venture, and it is hoped that this mission marks the first time that SpaceX has ever put a human in space.

The crew will travel to the International Space Station, where they are expected to stay for more than 100 days. As this is also NASA’s first shuttle mission since 2011, the readiness review for the journey will be given today if all goes to plan. SpaceX has had significant success in the past with the launch of 60 satellites for its Starlink program. The mission’s astronauts have entered a strict final quarantine before launch, and they are in final preparations for the ambitious May 27 launch. One of the mission’s most significant measures is to ensure that no one involved has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

With this groundbreaking mission, it is hoped that SpaceX can hit the ground running with an extensive, constantly evolving list of innovations for not only space travel, but the world. It is certainly true today that technology knows no bounds. We at Lenox Laser would like to wish SpaceX the absolute best of luck with this endeavor. The world cheers you on. To read more about this mission, please go to SpaceX’s website.

Courtesy of NASA

Lenox Earns the Contractor Team Spirit Award

The NASA space missions have been an unforgettable and permanent part of American history. A recent example is the STEREO mission; the objective of the STEREO mission was to study the sun’s many particles, compositions, and solar winds. Many photos were taken since the mission launch from Cape Canaveral on October 26, 2006. It lasted 12 years despite being planned for only two. The images taken from the mission could then be viewed as a 3-D image. Lenox Laser had the prestigious honor to design some of the instruments that would help guide STEREOS imaging systems.

For our part, Lenox Laser worked on the NASA/GFCF focus test for the EUV imager that would be put on board the STEREO. NASA’s Instrument Systems and Technology Division, the Contractor Team Spirit Award – was presented to Lenox Laser for our hard work. Without this and all other contributions to the STEREO, the images would not have been what they are today. The honor was beyond humbling for us. We hope to continue to watch NASA’s innovations in their awe-inspiring glory.

Courtesy of NASA

Lenox Laser can never put a price on the honor that it was to receive this award. To learn more about NASA itself or the other missions that we were honored to be part of, please visit Lenoxlaser.com and to explore the missions and even greater detail, visit NASA.com. Our thanks go out to all involved in helping make this award possible. It was a nod for the feat of engineering.

A 2004 Laser Study

The laser is the perfect modern-day, precise cutting tool. It is helpful in the production of many products
today – products that range from big to small. The exactness of a laser is its biggest asset. Beyond just helping
the creation of new material, however, the laser can also be used to remove unwanted content from any
surface. This process is known as laser ablation, and it has been pioneered and innovated by Lenox Laser over
our 35 years of service.

Challenging the threshold of what the laser can drill is always is what we do at Lenox Laser. We handle
everything from laser drilling holes as small as 0.5 µm to using a scanning electron microscope or SEM, which
produces images by scanning a surface. Lenox Laser took part in a project in 2004 to help develop the best
method for creating holes via standard thickness substances or more substantial areas. Published in the
Journal of Semiconductor Technology and Science, Lenox Laser was privileged to be a part of this innovative
experiment. The publication can be read here. In this study, the goal was to test laser ablation against the
typical procedure of dry plasma etching in making holes that could work for the designing of transistors, for
example. The conclusion was that not only was laser ablation faster but also did the job with less
contamination in the product.

This experiment was another achievement, and Lenox Laser was proud to take part in and hope that future
contributions such as this continue to change and evolve to exciting new heights and prospects. As we look
back on this, we send our thanks to all that had been helping to make this possible. Here is to many more
breakthroughs in the future. As always, to learn more about our laser drilling processes; and for our services,
please visit.

CCIT Vacuum Decay Leak Study

In the pharmaceutical industry, products must stay sterile as they are transported. One of the critical steps of
Container Closure Integrity Testing (CCIT) is performing leak testing. A study – by Jayshree Patel et al. – tested
their method to see if it would be faster and more effective. The experiment designed the test as an in-progress package integrity test from manufacturing and tests for stability. This would allow manufactures to
check for any types of defective packaging before mass shipment was approved. The time it takes to test
packages is surprisingly fast at less than one minute per container. The package defects tested can range from
glass vials with testing of the glass walls, to ceiling surface defects. When it came to the hole testing and
drilling of the holes, Lenox Laser was there to help.

When asked by the researchers for the study, Lenox Laser provided hole creation and size certification for the
tests performed. We were able to drill holes the size of or equal to 5 µm in diameter – the precise size needed
for the study. The validation tests used were successfully able to detect the dimensions of the holes in glass
vials. The validation tests were performed at White House Analytical Laboratories in White House, New Jersey.
CCIT is a significant process to what Lenox Laser does, and we take pride in helping any way that we can to
ensure the safety of pharmaceutical packaging.

Lenox Laser can provide many laser drilling needs for different materials, including plastics, nickel, steel, etc.
We can drill any size hole big or small to exact size with precision accuracy if you’d like to learn more about
Lenox Laser services, please visit Lenox Laser Services and our CCIT page. It was a pleasure to assist the
Parental Drug Association in this exciting endeavor of testing. We can’t wait to see the positive effect on the
industry because of this study.

Study about Secondary Medical Packaging

Secured packaging of a particular drug not only allows it to be the most effective but also keeps the product
sterile. Although microscopic, microbes are more massive than any gas molecule. Microbial barriers are safe
and secure packaging housing medical devices keeping them sterile up to the point of use. Sometimes, A
heavy plastic sealed pouch can help protect the medication after the makers place them inside a box, bottle,
or carton. Several doctors wanted to see how effective specific packaging could be. In a study – named
Examining the Effect of Secondary Packaging on Microbial Penetration into Sterile Medical Device Trays – these
doctors set out to determine the effectiveness of such packaging.

Example CCIT bottles

The study’s stated goals were to answer two questions: First, what is the effect of secondary packaging on
microbial penetration of sterile medical device trays; and second, given a carton as the secondary package,
does the presence of a lid affect the microbial penetration of the dishes? Researchers used one hundred
twenty different samples in this study. For Lenox Laser’s contribution to the analysis, we laser-drilled one
hundred µm sized holes in about forty samples in lidded trays packaging cartons. The samples were later
uniquely identified. Those required to secure any pharmaceutical must do Container Closure Integrity Testing
(CCIT) to ensure sterile pharmaceuticals and, therefore, provides maximum patient safety. For extra protection,
each package was swabbed with alcohol when being prepped. In the end, the study found that samples
placed in pouches rather than cartons limited the growth of microbes rather significantly. The work by Lenox
Laser and other contributors helped achieve the goals of the study.

It was thanks to this team’s dedication to testing and public safety that with this new information, it shall lead
to great leaps in the pharmaceutical industry, which is undoubtedly needed now more than ever. We give our
thanks to the Rochester Institute of Technology for allowing us to take part in this fantastic process. To see the
full study, click here.

The Hubble Space Telescope – 30th Anniversary

April 24, 1990 would see the very first launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Many of its missions and
accomplishments would go on to change how we look at space today. Next week, on April 24, 2020, the
telescope will mark its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we at Lenox Laser are looking back at the
legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Picture courtesy of NASA

When Hubble was being carried by the space shuttle Discovery (OV103), it was thought Hubble would only last an estimated 15 years. Still operational today in 2020, however, it
is believed that it could last for possibly another two decades. The Hubble Space Telescope is the largest
space-based object telescope ever to be built orbiting 353 million miles above the earth and is completely
unmanned. The Hubble Space Telescope can travel about 5 miles per second and record 350 gigabytes of
data for research every month. Interestingly, anyone can apply to use the Hubble Space Telescope but only
about a fifth of those applications are accepted. In its time, the Hubble Space Telescope has made over 1.3
million observations of stars, planets, and galaxies. The final shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope
took place on May 11, 2009.

Lenox Laser had the great fortune to be a part of the Hubble’s legacy starting in
1981 by helping design custom slits for the telescopes many instruments. We would also design custom
crosshair fiducials, which can be any object place in the field-of-view of an imaging system. They can be used
for many types of surveys, such as radiological and geological. Lenox Laser cannot be more grateful for such a
tremendous once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can read more about Lenox Laser’s involvement here or if
you are interested in our optical solutions that we offer click here.

The Hubble Space Telescope has given a
massive new perspective on the views of space. 30 years is a great achievement, here’s to the hope that space
exploration never stops growing. To learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope, please visit NASA.

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