A Major Milestone for the James Webb Space Telescope on This Week @NASA – January 14, 2022
“Hubble on steroids!”
That is how actively involved astronomy professor Garth Illingworth of the University of California describes the new James Webb telescope, launched on Dec. 25, 2021. On Jan. 8, the telescope completed the unfolding of the gold-plated primary mirror along with a secondary mirror, as the spacecraft moved into permanent orbit.
The telescope is roughly the size of a tennis court, the culmination of an array of daunting conceptual and engineering challenges. Deployment involved over 50 major steps and 178 release mechanisms.
NASA is implementing this latest space project, in collaboration with counterpart agencies in Canada and Europe. This organization has been central to U.S. space exploration since its creation in 1958, as intense competition with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War rapidly escalated. …
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