Mission team members have completed the refueling of the James Webb Telescope ahead of its scheduled December 22 launch in French Guiana. Refueling will take about ten days.
After a long series of delays, some related to technical issues, others to budget issues, the James Webb Telescope (JWT) is still in the making. It was released on December 22. From the Guyana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, it was stopped by an Ariane 5 rocket from Arianespace.
JWT will be able to maneuver in space
One of the last steps before takeoff was to restock the observatory. These operations, an international collaborative effort between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, took place between November 23 and December 3.
« Fuel tanks are filled separately 79.5 liters of dinitrogen tetroxide and 159 liters of hydrazine«, written European Space Agency in a press release. The European Agency adds that the oxidizer ” Improves the combustion efficiency of hydrazine fuel«.
To handle these highly toxic propellants safely, experts wore protective atmospheric clothing or “SCAPE” suits.
Concretely, the fuel and oxidizer will be used together to increase the burn power from the larger telescope’s drive. This will allow medium-term orbital corrections to be made. It also makes it easier The introduction and maintenance of the JWT at point L2 Lagrange, 1.5 million km To Earth, where the gravitational forces of the Sun and our planet balance.
Hydrazine alone will be used for minor burns by JWT single-fuel. These maneuvers will be used to reset the wide angle and manage the ship’s momentum.
And there is still a long way to go
This phase is over and the mission team will take care of integrating the telescope into an Ariane 5 rocket glider. The newly formed pair will then be transported to the final assembly building for final preparations before takeoff.
Once successfully launched into space, Webb will begin a complex series of deep space maneuvers before reaching his privileged position. Upon arrival, the telescope will pass through Six months from the assignment period The team will ensure that your devices are working properly. This long journey must happen Without the slightest false note.
JWT, the most powerful telescope ever launched into space, will finally be able to explore the universe in infrared light. Scientists will use their tools to delve deeper into the universe than ever before, giving them unprecedented insight into our past. Webb’s powerful observational technology will also allow researchers to explore some of astrophysics’ greatest mysteries, such as dark matter and dark energy.
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