Webb's primary mirror deployment has begun

James Webb Space Telescope
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Engineers have begun the final stage of Webb's major structural deployments: the unfolding of its two primary mirror wings. These side panels, which were folded back for launch, each hold three of the observatory's 18 hexagonal, gold-coated mirror segments.

The team is beginning today with the mirror on the port (left) side of the observatory. Engineers must first release mechanisms that held the wing in place for launch, in order to allow the wing to deploy. The panel then rotates into position, a motor-driven process that takes about five minutes. Once the wing is extended, engineers begin a meticulous, two-hour process to securely latch it into place.

The deployment of the second primary mirror wing, planned for tomorrow, will follow the same process.

Provided by NASA

Citation: Webb's primary mirror deployment has begun (2022, January 7) retrieved 23 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-webb-primary-mirror-deployment-begun.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Webb's specialized heat radiator deployed successfully


Feedback to editors