Tech UPTechnologyJames Webb has already arrived at his new home:...

James Webb has already arrived at his new home: L2

The emotion was served again. After a launch in the middle of Christmas, a month of deployments and assemblies in space, at 2:00 pm EST, James Webb fired his main engines for 297 seconds (almost 5 minutes) to alter his speed by just 1.6 m/s. s and send it to its new orbit. You are now in what will be your new home: the Lagrange point L2.

During the NASA press conference, Keith Parrish, the director of the Webb start-up, said that it is “an incredible achievement by the entire team.” “The last 30 days, we’ve called them ’30 days on the edge.’ We are very proud to have overcome it.” But the work does not end here. “We were setting the table. We were unfurling this beautiful spaceship and ready to do science. So the best is yet to come ,” Parrish said.

 

We will still have to wait several months to see results

Webb still has a few things left on his to-do list. Fortunately, the adopted orbit will allow you a wide view of the cosmos at any time, as well as the opportunity for your telescope’s optics and science instruments to cool enough to function and perform optimal science. It’s months of calibration and cooling exercises (most of Webb has been cooling since the sunshield was deployed on January 4). Just the painstaking alignment of each of the 18 hexagonal segments of the telescope’s main mirror will take about three months. They must be aligned with a precision of about 10-20 nanometers to work as one.

Since Webb has used very little fuel for course corrections while traveling to L2, there will be much more for ordinary Webb operations, such as station keeping (small adjustments to keep Webb in its desired orbit) and offloading. impulse (to counteract the effects of solar radiation pressure on the huge sunshield).

 

 

“Now we are about to align the mirrors, the activation and commissioning of the instruments, and the start of wonderful and amazing discoveries ,” said Bill Ochs, Webb project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The telescope will allow astronomers to look further back in time than ever before, to when the first stars and galaxies formed 13.8 billion years ago, shortly after the Big Bang, when the universe was created. In addition to making stellar observations, Webb will scan the atmospheres of alien worlds for possible signs of life or observe worlds closer to Earth, such as Mars or Saturn’s icy moon Titan.

If everything goes according to plan, the James Webb Telescope, this special orbit that keeps it in constant alignment with Earth, will be fully prepared in the summer, at which time it will start sending images to check that everything is working as it should. Although the first ones will not be very pretty, since it will require some final adjustments before showing us its full potential.

Webb will usher in a revolution in astronomy , experts predict, giving us an exclusive first look — the best seat near Earth to view the universe — of young galaxies dating to just 100 million years after the Big Bang.

If you want to know more about the telescope, from Muy we have interviewed the NASA engineer, Alejandro Rivera, to unravel all its secrets.

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