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In this thread you can ask any space related question that you may have.
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This megathread will run for the 29 day long deployment phase. Here's a link to the previous megathread, focused on the launch.
This morning, the joint NASA-ESA James Webb Space Telescope (J.W.S.T) had a perfect launch from French Guiana. Webb is a $10 billion behemoth, with a 6.5m wide primary mirror (compared to Hubble's 2.4m). Unlike Hubble, though, Webb is designed to study the universe in infrared light. And instead of going to low Earth orbit, Webb's on its way to L2 which is a point in space several times further away than the Moon is from Earth, all to shield the telescope's sensitive optics from the heat of the Sun, Moon and Earth. During this 29 day journey, the telescope will gradually unfold in a precise sequence of carefully planned deployments that must go exactly according to plan.
What will Webb find? Some key science goals are:
Image the very first stars and galaxies in the universe
Study the atmospheres of planets around other stars, looking for gases that may suggest the presence of life
Provide further insights into the nature of dark matter and dark energy
However, like any good scientific experiment, we don't really know what we might find!. Webb's first science targets can be found on this website.
Track Webb's progress HERE
Timeline of deployment events (Nominal event times, may shift)
L+00:00: Launch ✅
L+27 minutes: Seperatation from Ariane-5 ✅
L+33 minutes: Solar panel deployment ✅
L+12.5 hours: MCC-1a engine manoeuvre ✅
L+1 day: Gimbaled Antenna Assembly (GAA) deployment ✅
L+2 days: MCC-1b engine manoeuvre ✅
Sunshield deployment phase (Dec 28th - Jan 3rd)
L+3 days: Forward Sunshield Pallet deployment ✅
L+3 days: Aft Sunshield Pallet deployment ✅
L+4 days: Deployable Tower Assembly (DTA) deployment ✅
L+5 days: Aft Momentum Flap deployment ✅
L+5 days: Sunshield Covers Release deployment ✅
L+6 days: The Left/Port (+J2) Sunshield Boom deployment ✅
L+6 days: The Right/Starboard (-J2) Sunshield Boom deployment ✅
- ⌛ 2 day delay to nominal deployment timeline
L+9 days: Sunshield Layer Tensioning ✅
L+10 days: Tensioning complete, sunshield fully deployed ✅
Secondary mirror deployment phase (Jan 5th)
L+11 days: Secondary Mirror Support Structure (SMSS) deployment ✅
L+12 days: Aft Deployed Instrument Radiator (ADIR) deployed ✅
Primary mirror deployment phase (Jan 7th - 8th)
L+13 days: Port Primary Mirror Wing deployment & latch ✅
L+14 days: Starboard Primary Mirror Wing deployment & latch ✅
L+14 days: Webb is fully deployed!! ✅
L+29 days: MCC-2 engine manoeuvre (L2 Insertion Burn)
~L+200 days: First images released to the public
⚪ 03/01/2022 Media teleconference call, no longer live - link & summary here
-> Track Webb's progress HERE 🚀 <-
image/gif What gets left behind in the aftermath of a massive star's death explosion? This is the Vela supernova remnant - the shredded remains of a star that blew up over 11,000 years ago and left chaos in its wake. It's an image I captured over a few nights earlier this month from my backyard