The largest and most powerful space telescope has successfully deployed its golden mirrors and the testing of the individual mirror segments is now complete.
Erin Wolf, Webb program manager at Ball Aerospace, explained how the mirrors were moved and tested.
“The motors made over a million revolutions this week…The mirror deployment team incrementally moved all 132 actuators located on the back of the primary mirror segments and secondary mirror…
Using six motors that deploy each segment approximately half the length of a paper clip,
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these actuators clear the mirrors from their launch restraints and give each segment enough space to later be adjusted in other directions,” Wolf said.
He added that the process of telescope alignment will take approximately three months.
On January 24, the team is expected to fire Webb’s thrusters to insert the telescope into its orbit around the Sun. The telescope will be nearly 1 million miles from Earth.