It was a perfect start. The James Webb Space Telescope will run longer than expected

It was a perfect start. The James Webb Space Telescope will run longer than expected
It was a perfect start. The James Webb Space Telescope will run longer than expected

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Where did we come from? Are we alone? Webb looks for answers

A week has passed since the exciting launch of the James Webb Space Telescope from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana. The telescope, long awaited for almost three decades, is undergoing a slow unfolding process and is heading towards its target orbit.

It was an extremely precise start

Now it turns out that the Ariane 5, the European Space Agency’s launch rocket that carried Webb, was precise enough to extend the life expectancy of the telescope. How is this possible? Researchers from the telescope team calculated that after launch and two (out of three planned) corrective maneuvers, Webb’s flight trajectory was chosen more precisely than assumed before take-off.

This means that for the third of the planned corrective maneuvers – necessary to bring Webb to its target orbit around point L2 – less fuel will be needed. The saved resources can be used in the future to keep the newly launched telescope alive longer. We wrote more about Webb’s journey to the target orbit in the following text:

NASA said the mission’s expected duration is now “at least 10 years”. This is, of course, the minimum assumed duration of scientific research using a telescope. Usually, research missions are carried out much longer than initially assumed. In the case of the Hubble Space Telescope – despite many problems that have plagued it in the meantime – observations have been carried out for, a trifle, 30 years.

The Webb telescope is a revolution in space exploration

It goes without saying that Hubble’s “useful life” is just about to end. So the James Webb Space Telescope, which is delayed by many years, comes to the rescue at the last moment. It will allow for the continuation of research conducted so far and the launch of completely new ones, about which scientists so far could only dream of. For many years, it will be by far the largest and most modern telescope that has been launched into space so far.

The most important goals of the mission will be research on the formation and evolution of the Universe, galaxy formation, observations of the first stars formed after the Big Bang and the study of the formation of planetary systems, including the Solar System. Teams of astronomers and astrophysicists around the world have been waiting for years to start research using the observations of the James Webb Telescope.

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perfect start James Webb Space Telescope run longer expected

 
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