The Webb Program Director is being considered for a possible Service to America Medal, according to NASA

Credit image: NASA/Bill Ingalls - Greg Robinson
Credit image: NASA/Bill Ingalls - Greg Robinson

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 02 May 2022, at 10:18 am Los Angeles time

The non-profit, non-partisan public service partnership announced on May 1 the 2022 finals of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America (Sammies) Medal, and among them is Gregory L. Robinson, who is program director for the James Webb Telescope.

He was chosen from more than 400 nominations, according to NASA.

Of those 400, only 30 federal employees were chosen, representing 22 federal agencies. Among them is Robinson, who was named "Management Excellence finalist for his achievements in overseeing NASA's largest and most complex international space science program."

"Greg Robinson is a leader who epitomizes excellence," said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate. "Across a massive international program of diverse teams and perspectives, he built the trust, consensus, and motivation to see this revolutionary mission to launch."

"I am very honored to be considered for a Service to America Medal," Robinson said. "Working with an incredible, resilient team and partners across the globe to overcome many challenges has been a great privilege. I have enjoyed a great career at NASA for over 30 years, and to be a part of the mission's historic moment when Webb launched flawlessly on Christmas Day was an awe-inspiring gift."

About awarding these prizes and medals this year:

Sammies is a program that has so far awarded over 650 awards and medals to federal employees who make outstanding contributions to both the United States and the world in the areas of safety, public health, and sustainability.

The mission will continue and this year with 30 finalists are nominated for this prestigious award.

And of course, we wish Robinson success in winning because his contributions are extremely high.

In short about Webb's path to L2:

Webb was launched 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.

The James Webb telescope will probably answer astronomy's biggest questions by studying almost every branch of it.

The telescope is expected to make its first scientific observations this summer.

More about Webb can be found here.

About Robinson:

"Prior to leading Webb, Robinson served as the deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA's Science Mission Directorate. He is a veteran executive, who previously served as deputy center director at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, NASA deputy chief engineer, and as the acting National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service deputy assistant administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration." described NASA.

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