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posted by janrinok on Sunday January 09 2022, @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.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @04:00PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @04:00PM (#1211512)

    Contractors have to post a bond guaranteeing completion on time and on budget. Cost overruns are raten by the bond company. And the contractor often goes broke or gets sold of by the bond company to recover their losses. Takes too long? The client calls in another contractor to finish the job and collects the costs from the bond company, which then goes after the original contractor.

    Sounds like you like dealing with lawyers, or are a lawyer or an MBA looking for some sweet, sweet middle to manage.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @04:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @04:41PM (#1211527)

    Real business concerns and what is required to function in a well organized and regulated society (assuming all parties involved are being regulated in manners that favor honesty...)

    If you want a counterexample to this, go read up on the MS Satoshi mess, which involved a bunch of people, also with no domain experience, going and buying a cruise vessel with expired certificates, labelled as a commercial seagoing vessel, then trying to drive it across the ocean to park in Panamanian territorial waters, all without verifying the legality of any step of what they were doing, or the safety of the resulting project, and then having to quit in the 11th hour because the majority of their prospective client base was smart enough to realize it was a bad idea and they didn't know what they were doing.