James Webb Space Telescope Start big fanfare on Christmas day , Equipped with powerful technology that promises great in the process of its mission to explore deep space.
Many people watching the live stream of Saturday’s launch didn’t have to worry, but they would have held their breath for the countdown. Arianespace’s trusted Ariane 5 rocket played that role, lifting the James Webb Space Telescope into space and making a perfect start to a multi-year mission.
However, for the Webb team of NASA, European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency personnel, tensions will not ease until the telescope is fully deployed and ready to work.
The satellites are so large that a myriad of components had to be folded into a compact shape to fit inside the rocket fairing for launch.
Over the next few weeks, each of these components will automatically deploy in a complex process never before attempted in space missions. And if any of these deployments go wrong, it could be a $ 10 billion project curtain.
The good news is that the first deployment went according to plan. This includes a solar array released and deployed approximately 30 minutes after launch, and a gimbal antenna assembly successfully deployed on December 26.
“Our team has just deployed a gimbal antenna assembly that includes Webb’s high data rate satellite antennas,” NASA said in a tweet. “This antenna is used to send at least 28.6 GB of data from the observatory twice a day.” � Hello web? It’s us, the earth! Our team has deployed a gimbal antenna assembly that includes Webb’s high data rate satellite antennas. This antenna is used to send at least 28.6 gigabytes of data from the observatory twice a day. https://t.co/4vKcbjbKJO pic.twitter.com/zFjhF3yLzY & Mdash; NASA Webb Telescope (@NASAWebb) December 26, 2021 On Tuesday, December 28th, one of the most difficult deployment stages will begin. It is described as the size of a tennis court and includes a huge awning that requires a large number of motors to push it into place. It takes 5 days for the sunshade to fully spread. No, I don’t think the Webb team will get a lot of sleep during this important process.
Assuming the sunshield deploys successfully, Webb will be in a position to deploy the secondary mirror and instrument radiator in early January.
Thirteen days after launch, there is another step that could give team members and Webb fans a little more sleepless night. It is the deployment of a 21-foot-wide golden mirror that is central to its mission.
The procedure involves locking instead of the two wings of the mirror. Each wing holds 3 of the 18 segments of the entire mirror. Upon successful completion of this stage, it indicates that the telescope has been fully deployed.
Webb then spends another two weeks moving to its desired orbit at a point called L2, which is about four times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. In the next 5 months, the mirror alignment will be fine-tuned and the telescope equipment will be calibrated.