October 5, 2022

James Webb Space Telescope Successfully Deploys Secondary Mirror – “Another Banner Day for JWST!”

Webb Space Telescope Secondary Mirror implementation. Credit: NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab
Today, Webb teams effectively deployed the observatorys secondary mirror support structure. When light from the distant universe hits Webbs iconic 18 gold primary mirrors, it will show off and struck the smaller sized, 2.4-foot (.74- meter) secondary mirror, which will direct the light into its instruments. The secondary mirror is supported by 3 light-weight deployable struts that are each nearly 25 feet long and are created to endure the area environment. Specialized heating systems were used to heat up the joints and motors needed for seamless operation.
” Another banner day for JWST,” stated Bill Ochs, Webb task manager at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, as he congratulated the secondary mirror implementation group at the Mission Operations Center in Baltimore. “This boggles the mind … Were about 600,000 miles from Earth, and we actually have a telescope.”
The implementation process began at roughly 9:52 a.m. EST, and the secondary mirror finished moving into its prolonged position at about 11:28 a.m. EST. The secondary mirror assistance structure was then locked at about 11:51 a.m. EST. At approximately 12:23 p.m. EST, engineers verified that the structure was totally secured and locked into place and the implementation was complete.

Today, Webb teams effectively deployed the observatorys secondary mirror assistance structure. When light from the far-off universe hits Webbs iconic 18 gold primary mirrors, it will show off and hit the smaller sized, 2.4-foot (.74- meter) secondary mirror, which will direct the light into its instruments. Webbs secondary mirror had to release in microgravity, and in incredibly cold temperature levels, and it eventually had to work the very first time without mistake.

Webbs secondary mirror had to release in microgravity, and in extremely cold temperatures, and it eventually had to work the first time without mistake. It likewise had to release, position, and lock itself into place to a tolerance of about one and a half millimeters, and then it has to stay incredibly stable while the telescope points to various locations in the sky– and thats all for a secondary mirror support structure that is over 7 meters in length.”
Next Webb will release an important radiator system understood as the aft deployable instrument radiator (ADIR), which helps shed heat away from its instruments and mirrors. Find out more about Webbs deployment timeline online.

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