NASA is one big step closer to setting up James Webb Space Telescope in service. The agency has successfully set up JWST’s gold-plated base mirror, completing all major implementations for the instrument. The mission crew still has to align the telescope’s optics by moving the primary mirror segments (monthly process), but this is a strong sign that the $ 10 billion device is in good condition.
JWST also requires shooting in the third direction as it moves toward the L2 Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun. Astronomers will use the point to study infrared light without interference, potentially offering insights into early space that are not possible with Hubble and other equipment.
The first images from the telescope will not be available until the summer, and it could take much longer before these images are translated into significant discoveries. Nevertheless, the implementation is a success. JWST is the first time NASA has unpacked a complex observatory in space – showing that projects like this are viable, even if unlikely to be commonplace in the near future.
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