“A new horizon wherever it shines” … The Webb telescope “complete” to the last obstacle
Successfully unfolding a 6.5 m mirror… “A coup in history” bravo
(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Jeon Myung-hoon = The Next Generation “James Webb Space Telescope” (JWST) with a total investment of $ 10 billion (11.950 billion won) has completely cleared the last hurdle for its mission .
A signal from the Webb telescope indicating that the flight control center of the Baltimore Space Telescope Scientific Institute (STScI), Canada, completed the “mirror deployment” operation at 6:16 p.m. GMT on the 8th and at 3 4:16 p.m. KST on 9. has received
When it was learned that the work was perfectly completed in about a day, the control center officials, who were suffocating after the start of the work, burst into joy and exchanged “high-fives” with each other. others.
“You have just made history,” said Thomas Zubuken, NASA’s chief science officer, as he celebrated the mission’s success.
That day, the mirror unfolding task was seen as the last remaining hurdle after successfully unfolding the tennis court-sized shading screen which was the biggest challenge.
The Webb Telescope successfully completed the work of unfolding and attaching a 21 × 14m five-layer sunscreen on April 4.
The Webb telescope consists of 18 mirrors, 6.5m in diameter, three on each side and six left and right sides folded back 90 degrees and loaded onto a rocket.
The shading screen almost completely blocks out heat and sunlight. The exterior of the shading screen rises to a maximum of 125 degrees, but the interior maintains an extremely low temperature of -235 degrees below zero, creating an environment in which the Webb Telescope can capture rays. even tiny infrared.
With the mirror folded fully unfolded, the Webb Telescope assumed its intended shape in space.
The mirror is not made of glass, but of beryllium metal. It is light but strong and has the characteristics of being able to withstand low temperatures well. The mirror surface is covered with a thin gold leaf. Gold has very high infrared reflectance.
The so-called ‘Golden Eye’, the diameter of the main mirror of the Webb Telescope is 2.7 times that of Hubble (2.4 m). It collects 6.25 times more light than Hubble and has a 15 times wider viewing angle.
Webb’s telescope will need to be fine-tuned to bring all 18 mirrors into a single focus.
The project manager explained to reporters: “Each of the 18 mirrors gives its own voice like a prima donna. We have to bring this sound into harmony. It is a difficult and arduous task.
The Webb telescope must also travel approximately 600,000 km over the next two weeks to reach its destination, Lagrange’s second point (L2). Since its launch on the 25th of last month, it has already covered 1 million km.
If all goes well, the sighting will begin this summer.
“The Webb Telescope is so powerful it opens up new horizons wherever you shine it,” said Lee Feinberg, head of NASA’s mirror development team.