James Webb telescope successfully opened antenna

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope successfully deployed an important antenna on December 26, just a day after launching into space.

James Webb opened the antenna containing the high-speed data dish responsible for transmitting space telescope observations of the early universe to Earth. Webb launched into space on December 25 with an Ariane 5 rocket that took off from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Picture 1 of James Webb telescope successfully opened antenna
The antenna array of James Webb glasses after deployment on December 26.

"This antenna will be used to transmit at least 28.6 gigabytes of scientific data from the observatory, twice a day," NASA said. "The engineering team opened and checked the motion of the antenna array, the whole process took about an hour."

The $10 billion Webb Space Telescope will study the earliest stars in the universe and many other unsolved mysteries. This is the largest and most powerful telescope ever launched into space. The antenna deployment is the latest in a series of steps to prepare the space telescope for a deep space observation mission. Currently, Webb is making a 29-day journey to a stable point in space called Lagrange Point 2 or L2, nearly 1.6 million km from Earth. From this point, the space telescope will observe the universe in infrared wavelengths.

In addition to deploying and testing the antenna, the project's flight controllers also activated the telescope's temperature and pressure gauges for the first time. The gauge will allow them to monitor Webb's temperature and texture in the coming days. Accurately measuring the structure's temperature and load is important to scientists and engineers on the mission, as the telescope is about to go through one of its most stressful times, opening its heat shield. giant.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an infrared observatory designed to make the most detailed observations ever, but the system must be cold enough. To ensure that, Webb will open a multi-layer heat shield the size of a tennis court. The first step of the process is scheduled to begin today, 3 days after the mission. Next, the Webb glasses will adjust their flight path a second time during their approach to point L2.