James Webb: NASA Begins Opening Telescope Sun Shield

James Webb: NASA Begins Opening Telescope Sun Shield

a nasa started This Tuesday (28) afternoon, one of the most delicate works in the commissioning of space telescope James Webb (JWST): Deploying your delicate sun shield.

The first step was the transfer of two structures, referred to as the “integrated pallet structure”, to the front and back, consisting of five carefully folded shielding membranes, as well as cables, pulleys and release mechanisms.


The team completed the process after four hours of work at around 3:21 pm (Brasilia time). The next step is to release the rear frame.

JWST unfolding sequence. Image: NASA

Today’s operation begins what will be a necessary step to deploy the Sun Shield for at least five days – a process on which the success of the mission depends. If not shielded to keep Webb’s telescope and instruments extremely cold, near absolute zero, Webb would be unable to observe the universe as it was designed.

As next steps Expanding a collapsible tower, then releasing the sunscreen cover, extending the intermediate bars, and finally tensioning the five layers of captans that make up the sunshield itself.

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Because shield deployment will be one of the most challenging processes NASA has ever attempted, the mission operations team has added flexibility to the timeline so that the schedule and even the sequence of next steps over the coming days can change as needed.

released Last Saturday (25), James Webb went through a delicate process of testing and preparing for operations, called commissioning, as he navigates through space on his way to his destination, Lagrange Point 2 ( An orbit closer to L2). With the Earth and Sun combined, NASA estimates that it will take six months for scientific observations to begin.

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