The James Webb Space Telescope has mastered much of its risky operation. The telescope, which was initially folded, has now fully unfolded, including the mirror, after eleven days, a huge relief for NASA and all other researchers involved.
“Another outstanding day for JWST”
The JWST, short for the James Webb Space Telescope, has overcome a particularly critical point. It was folded into space, but as the German astrophysicist Suzanna Randall already mentioned, there were a total of 300 points on which the mission could have failed.
But this is not the case, the secondary mirror is now also in its correct position. Bill Ochs, Webb project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said this would be “another great day for JWST”. The space telescope is now about a million kilometers from Earth and appears to be perfectly intact, which is a source of great enthusiasm.
Lee Feinberg also worked on the space telescope named after James Webb. He is overwhelmed by the success of the project and once again describes the precarious circumstances under which this mission succeeded.
“Webb’s secondary mirror had to extend in weightlessness and in extremely cold temperatures and ultimately function correctly for the first time. In addition, it had to extend, position and lock with a tolerance of about one and a half millimeters and then remain extremely stable while the telescope points to different places in the sky – and that’s all for a secondary mirror structure with a length of over 7 meters. “
Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
The telescope will examine exoplanets and their surroundings in order to search for life in the vastness of space. The James Webb Space Telescope will also investigate the formation and development of galaxies, black holes, stars and entire planetary systems.
By the way: Space missions are still planned for this year, because humans have big space goals for 2022.
Sources: NASA, SciTech Daily, Terra X