January 29, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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The James Webb Telescope has developed a 6.5-meter gold mirror that is waiting for you now

The James Webb Space Telescope, abbreviated as JWST, has a historic moment. Two weeks after the start, he was able to fully develop his huge 6.5-meter gold-plated mirror. The team completed the final stage of preparations before the start of scientific observations.

The telescope, a joint work of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency, will trace all phases of space history – from our solar system to distant galaxies.

JWST had a three-part mirror, otherwise it would not fit the Ariane 5 rocket, which carried it into space. The engineers had to develop a mechanism sturdy enough to withstand strong vibrations upon launch, while not failing to open the mirror directly into space.

The largest and most complex space telescope now faces another task – it must improve its mirrors, which can move and rotate independently of each other. The 18 mirrors must be aligned so that they focus on one specific point.

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The telescope is currently on its way to the second pound point, also known as L2, which is approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. In order for the telescope to get there, it undergoes three engine strokes.

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