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posted by janrinok on Sunday January 09, @11:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the cool! dept.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Successfully Unfolds its Massive Mirror

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope successfully unfolds its massive mirror:

The team behind the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope successfully finished unfolding the instrument's distinctive golden mirror on Saturday, meaning the telescope is now fully deployed and is one step closer to sending back data about the universe's first galaxies.

"The successful completion of all of the Webb Space Telescope's deployments is historic," Webb's program director at NASA Headquarters, Gregory L. Robinson, said in a release. "This is the first time a NASA-led mission has ever attempted to complete a complex sequence to unfold an observatory in space – a remarkable feat for our team, NASA, and the world."

NASA and its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, began remotely unfolding the two wings of Webb's primary mirror on Friday and completed the task at about 10:15 a.m. PT Saturday, when the second wing latched into place.

Over the next six months, Webb is set to travel 1 million miles from Earth and begin sending back images of the universe that promise to serve up a new, unfiltered story of the cosmos. Not only will Webb teach us about hidden regions of space, it also has the power to prove whether we've correctly documented the events that happened right after the Big Bang.

Remarkably, NASA Has Completed Deployment of the Webb Space Telescope

Remarkably, NASA has completed deployment of the Webb space telescope:

But now that ultra complex heat shield is working. The temperature on the Sun-facing side of the telescope is 55 degrees Celsius [(131 °F)], or a very, very, very hot day in the Sahara desert . And already, the science instruments on the back side of the sunshield have cooled to -199 degrees Celsius[(-326.2 °F)], a temperature at which nitrogen is a liquid. They will yet cool further.

Work remains, of course. Webb still must traverse about 370,000 km to reach an orbit around a stable Lagrange point, L2. Scientists and engineers must check out and align the 18 primary mirror segments. Scientific instruments must be calibrated. But all of this work is somewhat more routine when it comes to science spacecraft. There are risks, to be sure, but these are mostly known risks.

We can therefore be reasonably confident now that Webb will, in fact, begin to make science observations this summer. We should, truly, be in awe.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

 
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @01:52AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @01:52AM (#1211371)

    You act like they're launching all that money into space. Only the raw materials get launched. The money stays here and is recycled through the economy.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @02:45AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @02:45AM (#1211389)
    The money could have funded many projects that ot canleled because Webb was a big money pit. The money that could have been spent on those projects would have stayed on earth as well, and id Webb had been killed off when it became obvious it was out of control, we would have already had 15 years of data from those other projects.

    You're acting like the only science possible is from Webb. Astronomy has lost a decade and a half of science in other areas that were originally deemed to be sufficiently worthy to fund, but sunk costs of Webb sunk them.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Frigatebird on Monday January 10, @04:53AM (2 children)

      by Frigatebird (15573) on Monday January 10, @04:53AM (#1211419)

      many projects that ot canleled because Webb

      The NASA basic literacy project, exampla gratia (e.g.). Not sure what Cannoli have to do with it, unless you are making a comparison to Military spending ("Take the cannoli, leave the gun"?)

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Frigatebird on Monday January 10, @06:24AM

        by Frigatebird (15573) on Monday January 10, @06:24AM (#1211435)

        Obviously a Flamebait mod by a cannoliphobe!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @10:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @10:42AM (#1211469)
        Fuck off. Wikipedia hasxa list of science missions that were cancelled because of Webb. Or can't you do Wikipedia?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @04:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @04:23PM (#1211521)

      > The money could would not have funded many projects... because yachts

      FTFY

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 10, @04:58PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10, @04:58PM (#1211533) Journal
    The money amount is a measure of the effort and resources put into JWST. It's not just a number.