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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:12 PM

NASA's Webb Telescope Packs Its Sunshield for a Million Mile Trip

Source: NASA

Engineers working on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have successfully folded and packed its sunshield for its upcoming million-mile (roughly 1.5 million kilometer) journey, which begins later this year.

The sunshield — a five-layer, diamond-shaped structure the size of a tennis court — was specially engineered to fold up around the two sides of the telescope and fit within the confines of its launch vehicle, the Ariane 5 rocket. Now that folding has been completed at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California, the sunshield will remain in this compact form through launch and the first few days the observatory will spend in space.

Designed to protect the telescope’s optics from any heat sources that could interfere with its sight, the sunshield is one of Webb’s most critical and complex components. Because Webb is an infrared telescope, its mirrors and sensors need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures to detect faint heat signals from distant objects in the universe.

In space, one side of the sunshield will always reflect light and background heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon. Thermal models show that the maximum temperature of the outermost layer is 383 Kelvin, or about 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the other side of the sunshield will always face deep space, with the coldest layer having a modeled minimum temperature of 36 Kelvin, or about minus 394 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/nasa-s-webb-telescope-packs-its-sunshield-for-a-million-mile-trip



I cannot wait for this telescope to successfully deploy. Fingers crossed.

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Reply NASA's Webb Telescope Packs Its Sunshield for a Million Mile Trip (Original post)
Calista241 Apr 7 OP
lagomorph777 Apr 7 #1
IrishAfricanAmerican Apr 7 #2
turbinetree Apr 7 #3
roamer65 Apr 7 #4
Cheezoholic Apr 7 #5
electric_blue68 Apr 7 #6
Kid Berwyn Apr 7 #7
TexasTowelie Apr 7 #8
Manifest Desmond Apr 8 #9

Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:16 PM

1. Another quantum leap. Like Hubble x6

(depending on which metric you choose)

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:31 PM

2. Finally!!

Woo Hoo!

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:38 PM

3. As the old saying goes to Infinity and Beyond

that's what this space scope is going to do when it gets to its destination...........this is going to be outrageous with those pictures...........

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 05:07 PM

4. One million miles is the distance to a Lagrange point, I do believe.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 07:08 PM

5. Gonna be 8-10 minutes of nail biting hell..

When it launches. The biggest chunk of cosmological science of the 20th century with years and years of technical development gonna be packed on that Ariane 5 rocket. Been following this for 15 years. It will be a game changer as much if not more than Hubble.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 07:33 PM

6. Oooo, exciting. And nail biting. What will we see!?!?!

Ah, I wondered if that was the mutli element hexagon
mirror structure I'd seen off and and on. W00000t!

I'd forgotten it was a infrared telescope. Interesting.

What's the advantage in using infrared vs visible light
in this case? Do the scientists think that when they
look further (and back in time) that infrared will give them more of the kind of information they're looking for?

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 08:40 PM

7. An eye sharp enough to see to the edge of time.

When the first galaxies formed.

https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/faqs/facts.html

Wow!

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 10:17 PM

8. Please note that when choosing your sun shield that it requires an SPF of at least 15

in order to provide adequate protection.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 07:59 AM

9. Holding my Applause.....

 

until it's off the ground.

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