The European Space Agency (ESA) showed a video of the moment the James Webb Telescope detached from the rocket that launched it into space and set off on an independent flight to a permanent orbit at a distance of about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
An Ariane 5 missile carrying James Webb took off from the Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana last Saturday, December 25. After launch, the space telescope detached from the upper stage of the launch vehicle – this process was broadcast back to Earth in real time. However, the resulting image was not of high quality and is often interrupted.
ESA professionals have now cleaned up the video file and dubbed it to the music of British composer Charlotte Hattley.
These snapshots are the latest glimpse of the telescope, which is now heading toward its permanent deployment, which will arrive in late January. Now it is already farther from Earth than the Moon’s orbit.
Scientists hope James Webb will allow them to look far into the past, during the formation of the universe and galaxies. This is possible because the telescope is able to capture signals emitted by stars up to 13.5 billion light-years away. That is, he would be able to look at the universe as it appeared only 200 million years after the Big Bang.
More about how James Webb works and why scientists hope to make revolutionary discoveries with his help, says our correspondent. Nikolai Voronin.
The launch of the telescope was very successful: the rocket built by the European Space Agency worked flawlessly and brought James Webb to the desired height, at a right angle relative to the equator and with the right acceleration.
The flight was so successful that James Webb was able to save fuel when maneuvering and can now operate longer in space. NASA reportsScientists can expect that it will “live” in orbit much longer than 10 years (despite the fact that the minimum life cycle for this mission is five years).
Another sign that James Webb’s launch went smoothly was the speed with which the solar panels were deployed. The published footage shows that this happens within 70 seconds after separating from the upper stage – despite the fact that according to plan, the board should have been withdrawn after only a few minutes.
The computers on board the telescope decided ahead of time that all the conditions for the action were met – and gave the order to take action.
The telescope was launched folded, and now NASA specialists continue the arduous process of revealing its main mirror: a golden honeycomb “dish” with a diameter of 6.5 meters. behind this process You can follow On the official website of the US Space Agency.
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