Launched at Christmas, this telescope is constantly being deployed. This action will allow the scientific instruments to be exposed to the sun’s heat.
The James Webb Space Telescope, on Tuesday, January 4, took a big step towards the success of its mission by making full use of its thermal shield, an essential element for conducting future observations of the universe, NASA announced. This five-layer sun visor is the size of a tennis court, designed to protect scientific instruments from the heat of our star. They have been carefully spread out one by one since Monday.
Large enough to fit on a rocket, the telescope must fold itself up like origami and be positioned in space, which is a very dangerous process. Using this sun shade is one of the most difficult steps. The most powerful space telescope ever designed, the James Webb is expected by astronomers around the world, and especially the Big Bang to be able to observe the first galaxies formed a few hundred million years later.
See also – NASA releases images of the James Webb telescope ahead of its release
Repair work is impossible in the event of a problem
The lab left French Guiana a week ago and is now 900,000 kilometers from Earth. It is still on track to reach its final orbit, 1.5 million kilometers from us – four times the distance between Earth and the Moon. At this point, if a problem occurs, the repair work cannot be carried out. Its deployment, piloted from Baltimore on the U.S. East Coast, must be carried out without error. More than a hundred engineers are currently working there 24 hours a day and everything is going as planned.
NASA broadcast the event live on the Internet on Monday morning. Since there were no cameras on the James Web, only images were available from the operational control room, and the deployment teams cheered after the announcement of the fifth tier power-up.
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