James Webb Space Telescope: Main mirror to be installed over the weekend

James Webb Space Telescope: Main mirror to be installed over the weekend

Tomorrow, Saturday, the James Webb Space Telescope will begin to open the complex main mirror and thus complete the complex structure in space. This was announced by NASA, which intends to accompany the process in a live stream. Since there is no camera image from the telescope, experts on Earth will have their say and explain the steps.

It should start as early as 3 PM CET There is a live stream on NASA TV, among others, First one of the hooked “wings” should be cut forward, then the other. As soon as both are in position, the “unprecedented process of unfolding in space” is complete, NASA writes, the space telescope can produce scientific work.

After the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) finally installed the sunshield, secondary mirrors and a cooling system, NASA also answered the most frequently asked questionWhy are there no control cameras on the equipment. In fact, it was checked whether the cameras should not be added to follow the complicated assembly process. However, there were many arguments against it, as there must have been a lot more cameras to be able to actually deliver useful pictures. In addition, the part facing the sun is too bright and the part away from the sun too cold to not be able to attach the camera without special precautions. Overall, the various sensors provided enough data to keep the telescope’s position under control at all times.

The long-awaited Hubble successor JWST was launched on December 25 and has since been on a nearly one-month journey to Lagrange point L2, which is four times the farthest from Earth from the Moon. There, with Earth between itself and the Sun, the telescope is protected from the Sun, Earth, and Moon by its tennis court-shaped sun shield and looks into the depths of space.

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Since this is an infrared telescope, it must be operated in an extremely quiet manner so as not to disturb itself with its own infrared radiation. Only in the summer of 2022 will it cool down to the required 40 Kelvin (minus 233 °C) and then work should begin. The space telescope is currently more than a million kilometers from Earth, and it is just over 400,000 kilometers to its destination.


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