The webspace telescope opens its gigantic mirrors in its testing facility for the last time making it a rare scene as the next time it would do so, it would be in space.
The mirror is a technological marvel and bringing you is the scene where it opens its massive golden mirrors “wings.”
Checking its lock capacity, NASA opened up its 21 foot set of golden mirrors as part of the final tests in an attempt in seeing whether it locks itself into place.
The hexagonal mirrors will be used to peer into the distant regions of space and observe the cosmos. The gigantic web telescope went through long testing before it could make it to space later this year.
“The primary mirror is a technological marvel,” said Lee Feinberg, the optical telescope element manager for the Webb at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement. “The lightweight mirrors, coatings, actuators and mechanisms, electronics and thermal blankets when fully deployed form a single precise mirror that is truly remarkable.”
The rigorous testing included deploying each of the 132 actuators and motors to aid the mirrors to move as a single unit. Those actuators and motors would also take the command of unfolding the gigantic telescope from its compact traveling shape once it is launched into orbit.
The Webb’s testing control room in Redondo Beach, California hosted the vigorous testing. Fascinatingly, the testing site is installed with unique gravity offsetting technology to replicate the “zero-gravity environment of space.”
Optical Telescope Element Manager, Fienberg said, “This is not just the final deployment test sequence that the team has pulled off to prepare Webb for a life in space, but it means when we finish, that the primary mirror will be locked in place for launch.”
Predicted to launch in late 2021, NASA hopes that, “Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.