The James Webb Telescope has reached L2. Historic moment! See here

24/01/2022
Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

The James Webb Telescope has reached L2. Historic moment! The wait is over! According to NASA data, Webb reached L2. The most powerful telescope and largest space telescope to date is currently 1 million miles from Earth (~ 1.6 million km from Earth). NASA has finished the last burn correction it had to do. The Burn correction was made shortly before Webb reached L2. 

This burn correction was required to place Webb directly in L2 orbit. According to NASA: "Conduct activities to plan and execute MCC2 - the insertion burn for Webb's L2 orbit. The vast majority of the energy required to place Webb in L2 orbit was provided by the Ariane 5 rocket. After the release of the observatory from the rocket, several small tweaks to the trajectory were executed (mid-course correction burns - MCC), to ease the observatory into its operating orbit. MCC2 is the final burn to fine tune Webb's halo orbit. "

In short about Webb's path to L2: 

Webb was launched a month ago on December 25, 2021 in Kouru, French Guiana on the Ariane 5 rocket. 33 minutes after its launch, Webb opened its Solar Array, being the first Webb component to unravel from its original state. This was followed by a Mid Course Correction Burn 1a, named by NASA and MCC1a, being the first burn correction to put Webb in the correct orbit. Just one day after its launch, an antenna, the Gimbaled Antenna Assembly, was opened. 

Two days after the launch and just one day after the first burn correction, Webb did the second burn correction, which is Mid Course Correction Burn 1b (MCC1b). After Webb was put in the right direction, it widened, unfolding the Forward Sunshield Pallet. And on the same day, Webb opened his Aft Sunshield Pallet. 

After the first 4 days since its launch in French Guiana, the telescope made a new opening, more precisely it deployed its Deployable Tower Assembly (DTA). After 5 days of launch, it has unveiled a small and a medium element, Aft Momentum Flap and Sunshield Covers. On the 6th day, Webb started to be as we know it.
He untied two important symmetrical parts: Sunshield PORT Mid-Boom and Sunshield Layer Tensioning Ongoing 

It's been 11 days since the launch, with Webb already in 2022. On the 11th day after its launch, it started deploying its Secondary Mirror and finished the process after a few hours. The next day, another important element was unveiled, Aft Deployed Instrument Radiator, this instrument is very sensitive.

13 days after its launch, Webb began unpacking Port Primary Mirror Wing, ending the process after a long day. Two weeks after its launch, it began to deploy another part of it symmetrical to the one opened the day before, meaning that after two weeks it opened its Starboard Primary Mirror Wing. Also two weeks after its launch, Webb is completely DEPLOYED!

On January 12, 2022, just 4 days after it was fully deployed, Webb had to straighten his mirrors. Thus began a process of moving two individual mirrors, also called Individual Mirror Segment Movements, which ended in two hours. Between the 18th and the 28th after the launch, Webb started to lift all 19 mirrors, except for two of them that started to be built later. "Mirror Segment Deployments COMPLETED" announced NASA on the 28th day of Webb's launch. On the 30th day, Webb makes his last burn correction before reaching L2, which is L2 Insertion Burn.

And now WEBB IS ORBITING L2! 

Obs .: According to NASA data, the WEBB is in L2 orbit, but a confirmation from NASA should come in a few hours. 

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 24 January 2022, at 11:13 am Los Angeles time

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