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Now is the right time to talk about James webb Space Telescope.


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James webb space telescope is very well known for its capabilities and at the same time it is also very well known for its delays. People have been waiting for its launch for nearly a decade now. Finally it is on its way to get launched. It has now reached French Guiana. Now it is a good time to recall about its capabilities and the gains that NASA is going to make after it will be launched.

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Finally it'll maybe get launched in the earliest, December, you mean :D

By far the most important thing ESA has ever launched. The Arianne 5 is a fine rocket that's pulled a lot of work and it'll finally get its due in popular culture by putting up the tool that might detect life on other planets.

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There are just so many moving parts on this thing that the launch isn't the most nerve-wracking part. 

Part of me hopes that there can be many, more simple, large telescopes launched on board SpaceX Starships instead of these hugely expensive flag ship telescopes. 

The NSA gave NASA two extra Hubble telescopes (obviously need significant modification) that were made to point at the earth rather than away from it. Send those up! 

In my opinion more is better rather than best-that-can-be all eggs in one basket launches. 

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Yes I do agree, though the Webb is a technical miracle it scares me to think what would happen if one of its many post launch flower like unfolding maneuvers goes wrong. At the distance it will be compared to hubble, 

will be no rescue mission, what then? 25 years and billions down the drain? unimaginable. When I watched an animation of the month long unfolding procedure as it makes its way to its position, I almost felt sick about

the prospect for something going wrong with such a complex series of events.

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It's the unfolding part that worries me. The Hubble mirror had an original error or less than 1mm in its mirrors shape, what happens if the mirror segments on JWST don't EXACTLY open up correctly. Even to the smallest amount.

Although, if I can ask that question, I’m sure NASA already considered it...

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11 hours ago, CloudMagnet said:

It's the unfolding part that worries me. The Hubble mirror had an original error or less than 1mm in its mirrors shape, what happens if the mirror segments on JWST don't EXACTLY open up correctly. Even to the smallest amount.

Although, if I can ask that question, I’m sure NASA already considered it...

I think that’s the thing people don’t necessarily understand, the incredible levels of engineering that go into these projects. 1mm accuracy? To quote from Wiki, the error which caused the problems with Hubble was 1/450mm :

“Analysis of the flawed images revealed that the primary mirror had been polished to the wrong shape. Although it was believed to be one of the most precisely figured optical mirrors ever made, smooth to about 10 nanometers, the outer perimeter was too flat by about 2200 nanometers (about 1⁄450 mm or 1⁄11000inch). This difference was catastrophic, introducing severe spherical aberration, a flaw in which light reflecting off the edge of a mirror focuses on a different point from the light reflecting off its center.”

Of course NASA have considered this, that is why the project has taken so long. They do launch vibration testing, cold testing, deployment testing and more. The mirror, as I understand it, has actuators supporting it so the segments can be very accurately aligned to the necessary levels.

13 hours ago, mrflib said:

The NSA gave NASA two extra Hubble telescopes (obviously need significant modification) that were made to point at the earth rather than away from it. Send those up! 

In my opinion more is better rather than best-that-can-be all eggs in one basket launches. 

Why repeat the same things? Hubble has been amazing, but another Hubble won’t show us any more or anything different. To achieve the objectives NASA set, which I guess include seeing back much closer to the Big Bang and potentially detecting life on exo-planets, they needed something bigger, positioned at the L2 Lagrange point and with a mirror and systems which respond much better in infrared.

Of course there are risks, and I’m as worried as the next person about the launch and deployment but I am sure the engineers have done and will continue to do everything possible to make it a success. All we can do is keep fingers crossed that it all goes well.

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