The James Webb telescope is starting to slow down

03/01/2022
Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

The James Webb telescope is starting to slow down. According to NASA data, the space telescope is starting to slow down every day. Thus, from December 26, 2021, when it had a speed of 1.73 km / s (1.07 miles / s) to reach today, January 3, 2022, a speed of approx. constant of 0.54 km / s (0.34 mile / s). However, Webb will start to lose speed more and more in the last few days, probably reaching the middle of January with only 0.1-0.2 km / s (0.06-0 / 0.12 mile / s). 

If at first, we saw that Webb has already traveled more than 20% of the distance it has to cover to reach point L2, now we will see that even though it has traveled more than 60% of its distance, but because to low speed, that percentage will increase more and more difficult. This happens to almost all launched spacecraft and launched telescopes. When it was launched, it picked up speed, but then began to slow down during the journey, becoming even 10 times slower. Especially since Webb needs to be unpacked and has important parts to unpack, then it should adjust its speed so that there is no risk of damage to the various components, which are very sensitive anyway. 

Webb's last fixed component was the Sunshield STARBOARD Mid-Boom. NASA reported that: "The deployment steps in the middle of the Starboard arm (-J2) include the completion of the winding of the sun visor cover, the deployment team then extends the middle arm -J2 together with the -J2 part of the five sunscreen membranes. the operation is a motorized one. " This operation was completed by Webb.

NASA's next live broadcasts, which will feature live Webb operations, are: 

  • Secondary mirror support structure deployment: The support structure that holds the secondary mirror in position to focus light collected by the primary mirror is set for deployment about 10 days after launch, no earlier than Tuesday, Jan. 4.
  • Webb deployments complete: With the unfolding of the second of Webb's primary mirror wings, the Webb team will have completed all observatory deployments. This is scheduled to take place about 13 days after launch, no earlier than Friday, Jan. 7.

We wish success to Webb and the entire team that controls him to be able to make this mission one of the largest to date. 

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 03 January 2022, at 11:20 am Los Angeles time

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