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A subtle moment in the mission: the James Webb Space Telescope unfolds its screen

A subtle moment in the mission: the James Webb Space Telescope unfolds its screen

The subtle moment of the task
James Webb Space Telescope unfolds screen

The James Webb Telescope is said to look deeper into space than any other human research tool before. But first, the sensitivity sensors must be protected by a large sail. With its correct position, the task stands or falls.

Launched at Christmas, the James Webb Space Telescope has fully unfolded its giant solar shield at a critical and critical juncture. “All five layers of the helmet are completely tense,” said a NASA employee at a control center in the U.S. city of Baltimore, while his colleagues erupted in cheers. Armor march work began the previous day.

The sunscreen, which is shaped like a sail and the size of a tennis court, protects the telescope and its sensitive equipment from heat and light. Its hair-thin membrane was made by Captain known to resist heat and cold.

The telescope was too large for the Ariane 5 rocket so it had to be folded down before launch. Emergence in space is a complex and dangerous process that has caused great concern to NASA officials. “If you ask me what makes me sleep at night, it’s the deployment of the sunscreen,” said Bill Oaks, project manager before the operation.

Look at the early days of the universe

An Ariane 5 rocket, the successor to the famous Hubble telescope, was launched into space on Christmas Day from a space station in Crowe, French Guiana. The James Webb Telescope explores the early days of the universe 13 billion years ago, thus only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Astronomers first hope to draw conclusions about the formation of stars and galaxies.

Named after the former director of the American Space Research Organization, the telescope was jointly developed by NASA, the European space agency ESA and the Canadian space agency CSA. The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, the University of Cologne and many other German institutions also participated.

Launched in 1989, the project was initially operational in the early 2000s. However, new problems delayed the project for several years, and costs almost tripled to almost ten billion dollars (8.8 billion euros). The start was also postponed several times.

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