Hacker News Re-Imagined

James Webb is fully deployed

  • 1384 points
  • 15 days ago

  • @Sami_Lehtinen
  • Created a post

James Webb is fully deployed

@1970-01-01 15 days

Replying to @Sami_Lehtinen 🎙

As all the unfolding SPOFs have finally been overcome, the title deserves an exclamation point.


@sam-2727 15 days

@causi 15 days

I can't help but be a little sad. JWST will be an incredible tool for scientific discovery, but its sensitivity range means it will never produce the kind of compelling imagery that Hubble did. Those pictures played a role in inspiring many of the people in the field today.


@WalterBright 15 days

What puzzles me is the maneuvering fuel. When that fuel runs out, the telescope can no longer orient itself. This ended the life of the Kepler telescope.

But aren't there other ways to orient in space?

1. use pressure from the solar wind

2. have 3 electric motors on 3 axis. Wouldn't spinning those motors rotate the craft? Electric power to do it would come from solar panels, giving it plenty of fuel.


@brink 15 days

I've never been one for being hyped about telescopes, but I am particularly excited about the images that this one will come up with.


@microjim 15 days

Great news! I’m happy about this. Just curious - had this mission critically fail, how likely would we be to simply try again? Who needs to approve the cost for that? Would it be politically important to succeed currently?


@emptyfile 15 days

Amazing feat of engineering. NASA can be proud of achieving something that no other space agency could do. It took courage to keep shovelling money and effort into this project and some amazing science to get it deployed into space.


@gfykvfyxgc 14 days

I’m glad we got this good news. I would have been truly depressed if it had failed.


@coldcode 15 days

I wonder when it can start observing.


@asteroidbelt 15 days

No mention of ESA again, looks like it is solely NASA project, which it is not.



@elefanten 15 days

For those not up on the project, what are some of the earliest novel types of information we expect to receive from it?


@amriksohata 14 days

How long before we can see images?


@WalterBright 15 days

Since 90% of the cost is probably in R+D of the telescope, one could build and deploy another for another 10%. Why isn't this done? Why is every space telescope completely unique?


@wolverine876 15 days

Something I am wondering about the L2 orbit ... per NASA:

> Webb's orbit [~ around L2] ... is actually similar in size to the Moon's orbit around the Earth! This orbit (which takes Webb about 6 months to complete once) keeps the telescope out of the shadows of both the Earth and Moon. Unlike Hubble, which goes in and out of Earth shadow every 90 minutes, Webb will have an unimpeded view that will allow science operations 24/7.


Wouldn't remaining in Earth's shadow result in less interference, with Earth providing an extra sunshield? And "an unimpeded view" of what? I can't believe those cold, sensitive optics, with that carefully engineered sunshield, will point anywhere but away from the Sun.


@MichaelMoser123 15 days

I wonder if there are some aliens looking at this, and wondering if another advanced civilization has put this together (just like we were wondering with ʻOumuamua). To me James Webb looks definitely like alien technology, if it manages to pass 50 deployment stages, depending on 178 deployment mechanisms... The team working on this did an incredible job! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUAvXYW5bmI&t=195s


@mywacaday 15 days

What I love about this project is that I had an active worry about its success, very few things in life inspire that kind of emotion. Well done to all involved, a true lifetime achievement. Can't wait for the images!


@usrbinbash 14 days

Most excellent!

An incredible feat by all the engineers working on this!


@rmk 15 days

How does this compare to the 'man on the moon' projects of China? It appears that from a purely scientific standpoint, this telescope will have a bigger impact than those of other space programs. Is my thinking on the right track here?

Also, is this complementary in function (and mission) to the Hubble? It appears to me that the spectrum is split up between Hubble and James Webb.

As an aside, it is interesting that the telescope is named in honor of a Lawyer turned administrator of NASA, James Webb (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_E._Webb). He must have been very capable indeed (or perhaps had the talent of attaching himself to very successful programs) because he was tapped by Kennedy to lead NASA at a time when the space race was at its peak. What's also weird is that James Webb worked as an administrator in all sorts of Government departments before being tapped to run NASA.


@amai 13 days

Couldn't we make a photo of the deployed James Webb telescope from the Hubble space telescope?


@jordanpg 15 days

I understand that it will take months to perfect the primary mirror alignment and focus for good science data, but when can we expect the first image?


@irrational 15 days

> Next up for Webb? Five months of alignment and calibration before we start getting images

I thought the L2 insertion burn was the next thing. Has that already happened?


@541 15 days

For some context around what makes this deployment so remarkable, watch this[0] video that talks about the engineering/building aspects of the James Webb [0] https://youtu.be/aICaAEXDJQQ


@davesque 15 days

This feels perhaps like a silly comment, but I have this intuition that the data collected by JWST could prove to be some of the most important ever collected.


@DisjointedHunt 15 days

I'd like to see the scientific community get more throughput. While the launch of this telescope is great, it cost wayyy more than anyone expected and took far too long.

I hope all the applause doesn't drown out the criticism on the badly run operations and manufacturing capabilities at NASA that contributed to the delays.


@iammjm 15 days

Awesome news. How much longer untill it gets to its destination and sends data and observations?


@tibbydudeza 14 days

Amazing design.

Was worried for a moment when they picked up heat issues during deployment but could resolve it a million miles away.

Well done to NASA/ESA/CSA/Northrop Grummam and all others who worked on it.


@rwmj 15 days

The picture is a visualisation, but does the telescope have a camera pointing at itself?


@albertopv 15 days

I think it's one of the greatest engineering results ever, a 6 meter infrared telescope 1 million km away, just wow!


@maxdo 15 days

Curious did they do a sample data with current temp? Since the deployment is complete. I know it will be not as good as at L2, but still.


@pfdietz 15 days

So now we just have to worry about the spacecraft ever losing attitude control, since exposing the telescope and its instruments to sunlight now will permanently damage them.


@tannhaeuser 15 days

Can't wait for the first science results from JWST. Any predictions?


@dreamcompiler 15 days

To me the second most exciting idea about JWST is that it might give us fairly definitive proof that other intelligent life exists in the galaxy.

The most exciting idea is if that happens we'll realize they might have built their own version of JWST and proven we exist.


@dgrin91 15 days

One of the big numbers that been thrown around is that JWST has 344 single points of failure in its mission. Now that deployment has been completed, is there somewhere that lists how many of those points we have passed?


@jl6 15 days

More great news. Congratulations to all who have worked on the project.

I understand the reasons for not putting a camera on or near the JWST, but I’m still a little sad that we’ll probably never get to see the thing in situ in all its operational glory.

Maybe one day when it finally expires, we can launch a “sample return” mission to tow it back.


@verelo 15 days

Family guy has got to me, i keep thinking of James Woods high.


@Simon_O_Rourke 15 days

Congratulations to the team, it's been a long road but it's satisfying to see so many folks efforts paying off.

I remember seeing a full size mock up of the JWST nearly ten years ago, and thinking it was just too big, complex and far out to succeed. But dedicated people made it happen.


@ThinkBeat 15 days

It says it will arrive in 14 days or so at L2.

Right now, it is moving 0.3933km/s which according to Google is 1415.88km/h. That is pretty fast.

What speed does it need to be at for insertion and steady state? How long will it be breaking? (If at all, or of it is not already doing it).


@gtsnexp 14 days

When is first-light scheduled for?


@wruza 15 days

Do we see anything up there yet?


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