Webb Space Telescope Takes Flight

Sky Captain

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Big news over the holiday:

After decades of construction, the Webb Space Telescope successfully launched on Christmas morning. Fingers crossed that it now deploys correctly.

Background on the Webb Space Telescope: https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-james-webb-space-telescope-just-launched-whats-next/

NASA Web Space Telescope status site: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

If we thought that the Hubble was a scientific game changer, wait until we see what this baby can do.
 

Radegast74

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Cruising speed to reach its L2 orbital point: 0.9788 miles per second for the next 29 days ....
They need to upgrade their quantum drive! lul

Here is a summary of key milestones:
* L+00:00: Launch
* L+27 minutes: JWST separates from Ariane-5
* L+33 minutes: JWST solar panel deployment
* L+12.5 hours: JWST MCC-1a engine maneuver
* L+1 day: JWST communications antennae deploy
* L+5-8 days: Sunshade deployment
* L+15-24 days: Mirror deployment
* L+29 days: Arrive Sun-Earth L2 halo orbit
* L+36 days: Begin telescope commissioning
* L+124 days: Complete telescope commissioning
* L+180-210 days: First images (Early Release Observations)


That "Where is Webb" page is AWESOME! I'll post it here, again:
https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

More info on the orbit and Lagrange points, in general:
 

Jolly_Green_Giant

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It was a Christmas gift. Since I first saw the Hubble Deep Field photos, I was awestruck with what we were able to see. Then I found out about the JWST and have been eagerly waiting for its launch ever since.

* L+180-210 days: First images (Early Release Observations)
It's going to be stressful until we get to see the first clear image. I really hope the best for this thing. Humanity needs it.
 

Sky Captain

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Aye! It'll take a month just for the pieces to initially snap into their final position. That must be some power management feat.

Here's the NASA JWST deployment animation that shows what is in progress over the next few weeks:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzGLKQ7_KZQ


Watching this, I wondered: Where are the size 3 guns?
 
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Shadow Reaper

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This is a great explanation of the technology. What I have wondered about for years is how much of the craft can be repurposed for future use. Can NASA now make mirrors like these with aluminum reflectors for use in ultra lightweight visual range light telescopes? Can they easily manufacture this impressive supercooler? Does this heatshield serve other spacecraft designs? Just the methods developed to manufacture these things, how is that all repurposed? I’ve never seen a study like that and would love to see a laundry list of “spinoff” benefits ofJWST.

Note, we won’t know if this thing is going to work for more than a week, and there are lots of possible failure points for another month. Let’s hope we get our $9.7B worth of answers out of this.
 

Radegast74

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I know, ho-hum, the thing we've all been on pins & needles for over 2 decades has successfully deployed all its mirrors and gadgets and we can just forget about it, amirite?

Amazing bit of work from the continuously amazing NASA...gotta say, in these times, they are a consistents source of uplifting news:
 

Jolly_Green_Giant

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I failed to explain to Mrs Intruder why this is the most important event in my life at the moment.
Try harder, she has to understand!

Pull out a penrose diagram. Show her the hubble deep field photos. Explain redshift and general relativity to her.

And if that doesn't click, compare it to us confirming the existence of the higgs boson and gravitational waves.
 

Mich Angel

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This is so exciting, well guess I put on a movie or 30 wile I wait..
Damn can't fast forward time.. hmm..

HA ha ha.. great news, exciting times we live in now.

CHEERS! 🍻
 

Dirtbag_Leader

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I failed to explain to Mrs Intruder why this is the most important event in my life at the moment.
Yeah I wouldn't let the family open any presents Xmas morning until we'd first watched the launch. . . I swear I was the only one who didn't think Barbie Dolls were the most important thing going on that morning. . . :/
 

Shadow Reaper

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Amazing bit of work from the continuously amazing NASA...gotta say, in these times, they are a consistents source of uplifting news:
NASA has the highest public approval rating of any federal agency. It has for decades, despite employees generally receive only 70% the pay they would in the private sector.

However for comparison's sake, NASA is about a decade and a half behind schedule on this, and 970% over budget; compared to companies like SpaceX when working without cost plus contacts, consistently land inside schedule and budget. The private sector is really where the US aerospace performance is. NASA is anything but top shelf.
 
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