Another critical process for the James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched into space last Saturday, is days away.
The James Webb Space Telescope, launched last Saturday, ended almost 22 years of development. After the efforts of hundreds of scientists working on the project, the telescope, which was finally sent into space, is now traveling towards its mission. There are already gasps for the critical stage that will begin as this journey continues.
James Webb Space Telescope mirror to take shape
JWST’s highly sensitive mirror will begin to take shape for the first time in the next two weeks. This stage of the telescope, which is calculated to take 29 days to travel, was expected long before launch. The massive telescope, which had extremely precise adjustments, had to be folded literally to be sent into space. Engineers have spent years trying to get the telescope to the size of it to go into space, developing a mechanism for self-shaping.
The mechanism for the telescope to take shape is one of the most important processes for starting its mission. The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched into space in 1990, suffered a technical failure and was fixed three years later by astronauts’ intervention in the area. However, since James Webb is sent about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, it is not possible for astronauts to go to correct the error in the event of a malfunction.
James Webb, who has only been on the road for three days, will arrive at the mission site, called L2, in 26 days. Then the fine-tuning phase will begin for the telescope to work. After the configuration phase, which NASA has announced will take about 5 months, we can start receiving the first images from James Webb.
Although the James Webb Space Telescope has completed its development process, the days that come after are painful. After nearly 22 years of work, we still have to hope things work out. Although James Webb has an error correction mechanism, some factors in space can cause the telescope to fail.