Lana Klingemann

Engineering the James Webb Space Telescope

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Library Hall
Engineer Lana Klingemann shares how her team at Ball Aerospace helped build the most powerful telescope ever flown in space

Masks are required to attend this live event in Library Hall.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is scheduled to launch on Dec. 18, 2021 and will be the largest and most powerful telescope ever flown in space. With science objectives ranging from collecting light still lingering from the big bang to looking for signs of life on exoplanets, the Webb’s findings are expected to rewrite textbooks and lead to new understandings of our universe and life within it.


Engineer Lana Klingemann will describe some of the capabilities and findings of the Hubble Space Telescope as background to understanding the challenges overcome and the innovations necessary in building its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. While sprinkling in some fun mind-blowing facts, Klingemann will give insight into the key technologies she helped to develop during her 13 years working the program as a Mechanical Engineer and team lead at Ball Aerospace.

This talk is recommended for an audience age 9+.

About the speaker

Lana Klingemann, with over 25 years in the aerospace industry as a mechanical engineer, team lead, and program manager, excels at bringing diverse groups of people together to innovate solutions to difficult problems. Klingemann has a broad range of experience, with specific expertise in mechanized optical systems. Graduating top in her class with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wyoming, Klingemann has worked for Rockwell International, Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace. Many of her greatest achievements occurred during her 13 years working for Ball Aerospace on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). While collaborating with teammates across the country to design, build and test the telescope’s mirror positioning mechanisms, as well as design and build a fully functional, scaled version of the flight telescope to develop and prove JWST’s mirror on-orbit positioning algorithms, Klingemann received a patent, had three publications, and made presentations at conferences around the world. Klingemann has since worked on a variety of defense programs and as a program manager for NASA developing remote sensing and docking technologies for autonomous servicing of on orbit spacecraft.