January 17, 2022

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James Webb: NASA begins to open the Sunshield Telescope

James Webb: NASA begins to open the Sunshield Telescope

NASA I started On Tuesday (28th) afternoon, it was one of the most sensitive operations in the commissioning space telescope James Webb (JWST): Deploying his precise solar shield.

The first step was the transfer of two hulls, called the front and aft “consolidated panel hull”, which contained the five carefully folded armor diaphragms, as well as cables, pulleys and release mechanisms.

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The team completed the operation at approximately 3:21 p.m. (Brazilian time), after four hours of work. The next step is to release the back frame.

JWST sequence unfolds. Photo: NASA

Today’s operation begins what will be at least five more days of steps needed to deploy the solar shield – a process upon which the success of the mission depends. If the shield weren’t in place to keep Webb’s telescope and instruments extremely cold, close to absolute zero, Webb wouldn’t be able to observe the universe as designed.

as next stages They include the extension of a foldable tower, followed by the release of sun visors, the extension of the intermediate rails, and finally the tightening of the five Kapton layers that make up the sun visor itself.

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With the shield’s deployment going to be one of the most challenging operations NASA has ever attempted, the mission operations team added flexibility to the schedule so that the schedule changes and even the sequence of next steps in the coming days as needed.

chest Last Saturday (25), James Webb undergoes a rigorous process of testing and preparation for the operation, called commissioning, as he navigates through space on his way to his destination, an orbit near Lagrange Point 2 (L2) in the Earth-Sun-formed system. In general, NASA estimates that it will take six months of preparation before scientific observations can begin.

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