Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

The artist's idea of ​​a fully established James Webb Space Telescope.

The artist’s idea of ​​a fully established James Webb Space Telescope.
Pictures: NASA

T.He is the left wing of the primary mirror of the web Unlocked and locked between Saturday positions, What was the final step of the main installation phase. The Space Telescope eventually looks like a telescope, but the launch phase is not over.

Ground controller at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore Announced The preliminary mirror will be completed on Saturday at 1:17 pm EST, January 8, about four hours ago, began with the deployment of the Left. The team Move Right wing in Friday position. The primary mirror, 21 feet (6.4 m) wide, is now the largest mirror sent into space, with a collection area. More than six times Hubble’s mirror. The telescope had to be bent tightly to fit inside the payload firing of the Aryan 5 rocket, and it was thought to be integrated into orbit. Impossible.

So with the primary mirror, as well Secondary Mirrors, Radiators, Sunshields & Solar Panels, Safely In place, all large installations have been rolled up, and without any serious problems or interruptions to speak. Launched into space on Christmas Day, the web is a joint effort by NASA, European Place Agency, And the Canadian Space Agency.

“The successful completion of all Web Space Telescope installations is historic,” said Gregory Robinson, NASA’s Web Program Director. Press release. “This is the first time a NASA-led mission has attempted to complete a complex sequence of unmanned observatories in space – a remarkable achievement for our team, NASA and the world.”

I’m not one for hyperball, but Robinson’s high praise is absolutely certain. The web is the most complex And powerful space telescopes have been sent into space, with 344 possible points of failure – most of which are now retired.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, “The James Webb Space Telescope is an unprecedented mission to see the light from the first galaxy and to discover the mysteries of our universe.” “Every achievement has already been achieved and future achievement is a testament to the thousands of inventors who have poured the passion of their lives into this mission.”

The initial mirror has been placed, but it is far from ready to go. All 18 parts of its hexagon now need to be aligned, a subtle process that is expected to take 10 days. The primary mirror is meant to act as a single concave mirror, for which all 18 gold-plated parts have to be redirected to a single focal point, such as the secondary mirror in front of the telescope. Mission cThe controller will align all the mirrors to the exact position using the 126 Equator.

In addition to this, they will A third course needs to be modified to take the observatory to its workplace: Second Lagrange Point. From this spot, some located 1 Million miles (1.5 million kilometers) From the earth, The web will use its infrared power to study ancient galaxies, us Solar system, and distant exoplanets. The third and final course revision is scheduled for Sunday, January 23.

At this point, NASA will strengthen the scientific instruments of the web Assuming it’s okay, the remaining five months of commissioning will be optics alignment and calibration. The science episode of the instrument is expected to begin this coming summer And last for some 20 Years, accordingly New fuel estimates. The web’s predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, is still working in space after more than 30 years – so there is reason to be optimistic that the web will last only five and a half years of its initially planned lifespan. Years

More: The Web Space Telescope has received a lucky boost from its Christmas launch.

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