We Webb Space Telescope successfully deployed its 21-foot primary mirror

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We Webb Space Telescope successfully deployed its 21-foot primary mirror

Washington - US January 9 ANI NASA's James Webb Space Telescope team successfully deployed its 21 foot, gold-coated primary mirror, successfully completing the final stage of all major spacecraft deployments to prepare for science operations.

According to a press release by NASA, the Webb mission will explore every phase of cosmic history, from the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.

NASA has achieved another engineering milestone in the past. While the journey is not complete, I join the Webb team in breathing a little easier and imagining the future breakthroughs bound to inspire the world, said Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an unprecedented mission that is on the precipice of seeing the light from the first galaxies and discovering the mysteries of our universe. He said that each feat already achieved and future accomplishments is a testament to the thousands of innovators who poured their passion into this mission.

The two wings of Webb's primary mirror had been folded to fit inside the nose cone of an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket prior to launch. After more than a week of other critical spacecraft deployments, the Webb team began remotely unfolding the hexagonal segments of the primary mirror, the largest ever launched into space. The first side deployed January 7 and the second January 8 was a multi-day process, according to the NASA press release.

The world's largest and most complex space science telescope will now begin moving its 18 primary mirror segments to align the telescope optics. The ground team will need 126 actuators on the backsides of the segments to flex each mirror, an alignment that will take months to complete. The team will calibrate the science instruments before they deliver Webb's first images this summer.

Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said, "I am so proud of the team spanning continents and decades that delivered this first of its kind achievement.

Webb's successful deployment exemplifies the best of what NASA has to offer: the willingness to try bold and challenging things in the name of discoveries still unknown, he added.