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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope assembled for the first time

30 Aug 2019, 10:48 UTC
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope assembled for the first time
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Engineers have successfully connected the two halves of NASA’s $8.8bn James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for the first time.
On 28 August, engineers at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in California used a crane to lift the mirror and science instruments onto the sunshield and spacecraft.
Now that the observatory has been mechanically connected, the next steps will involve electrically connecting the two halves together followed by testing those connections.



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Engineers will then fully deploy and test the intricate five-layer sunshield, which is designed to keep the JWST’s mirrors and scientific instruments cold by blocking infrared light from the Earth, Moon and Sun.
The JWST is scheduled to launch in 2021. Once it reaches space, it will explore the cosmos using infrared light, from planets and moons within our Solar System to the most ancient and distant galaxies.
The JWST programme is led by NASA and involves the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
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