January 22, 2022

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NASA Takes a Break from JWST Deployment After Sunlight Expansion

WASHINGTON — NASA is taking a day off deploying the James Webb Space Telescope after the successful expansion of the spacecraft’s sun canopy.

On January 1, NASA said it would wait a day for the five-layer sunscreen process to begin, finish it, and make sure the layers are separated. The effort, which is scheduled to begin on January 2, will take at least two days.

The deployment of the sunvisor added pause after spacecraft managers worked through the end of December to expand the two “medium boom” structures on either side of the spacecraft. These reflections raised the sun’s canopy to full size. This process started late when the sensor showed that the sun visor cap had not been completely wrapped. The inspectors decided to deploy the boom, where other data, including the temperature sensor and gyroscope, corresponded to removing the cover.

“The team did what it was supposed to do in a situation like this: Stop, evaluate and continue with the plan,” Keith Parrish, director of the JWST Observatory at Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement on December 31. “We have a long way to go in the entire publishing process.”

Sensor malfunctions have been the only problem in a series of spacecraft deployments since their December 25 launch. NASA said in a statement that the deployment of the sunblock relies on 107 film-release devices, each of which must work for the sunblock. Expand correctly. The agency said the 107th issue was successfully released.

And taking out the sun for a day would discourage further activities, NASA said. The effort is the final step in completing the installation of the sun visor, after which the controllers turn their attention to the installation of a binocular mirror. However, a one-day shift will have little long-term impact on the mission, which will spend six months operating the telescope and its instruments.

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“Today is an example of why we say we don’t believe our deployment schedule can change, but we expect it to,” Parrish said in a December 31 statement regarding Boom’s deployment.