James Webb Space Telescope: Secondary Mirror Deployment - Mission Control Live | Summary and Q&A

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January 5, 2022
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NASA
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James Webb Space Telescope: Secondary Mirror Deployment - Mission Control Live

TL;DR

The James Webb Space Telescope successfully deploys and latches its secondary mirror, a crucial component for focusing light onto its primary mirror.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is the deployment and latching of the secondary mirror important for the James Webb Space Telescope?

The secondary mirror is crucial for focusing light onto the primary mirror, allowing for precise observations of distant celestial objects. Its successful deployment ensures the telescope's ability to capture clear images and collect valuable data.

Q: How is the secondary mirror deployed and latched?

The mirror is unfolded and extended using a motor-driven mechanism, carefully controlled by engineers. Once fully extended, the mirror is latched into place using hook latches that secure it to a hard stop, ensuring stability and alignment.

Q: What is the purpose of latching the secondary mirror?

Latching the mirror ensures that it remains securely in its deployed position, preventing any unintended movement or misalignment. This is crucial for the telescope to accurately focus and capture high-quality images.

Q: Why doesn't the James Webb Space Telescope have live cameras to monitor the deployment?

Live cameras were not included in the telescope's design due to various challenges. Operating in space and extreme temperatures, accommodating special lighting requirements, and avoiding contamination risks are some of the factors that make it impractical to include live cameras on the observatory.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The James Webb Space Telescope deploys its secondary mirror, marking a major milestone in its mission to observe deep space.

  • The mirror is carefully unfolded and extended in a precise sequence, with engineers monitoring the process from the mission control center.

  • Once fully deployed, the secondary mirror is latched into place, ensuring stability and alignment for optimal scientific observations.

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