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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is fully deployed

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is fully deployed in space, paving the way for its groundbreaking science to come.

Why it matters: The $10 billion JWST is designed to peer into the atmospheres of distant alien worlds, capturing the light of some of the first galaxies and piecing together how stars evolve in clouds of dust.


What’s happening: Engineers on Earth Saturday unfurled the last segment of the telescope’s large, gold-coated primary mirror, marking the final major step in the risky deployment process that began after the JWST’s launch on Christmas Day.

  • “Today, NASA achieved another engineering milestone decades in the making. While the journey is not complete, I join the Webb team in breathing a little easier and imagining the future breakthroughs bound to inspire the world,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

What’s next: The telescope is continuing on its way out to a point about 1 million miles from Earth where it will conduct its science.

  • The JWST will perform a “mid-course correction burn” to keep it on track to get out to its perch shortly, and the telescope will start to align its mirrors for the sensitive science ahead, according to NASA.
  • The telescope will also need to calibrate its instruments ahead of starting science operations later this year.

Source: https://www.axios.com/nasa-james-webb-space-telescope-deployed-79fd1690-d642-4cae-8d0e-8e9a69ab892a.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Miriam Kramer

Here’s What Could Still Go Wrong With the Webb Space Telescope

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The Webb Space Telescope, after years of delays, has finally reached the launch pad. It’s a momentous occasion, but the observatory still needs to go through a complex and unprecedented commissioning process that will require a nerve-wracking six months to complete. The hard part, it would seem, is still to come.

Read more…

Source: https://gizmodo.com/here-s-what-could-still-go-wrong-with-the-webb-space-te-1848259511
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The Article Was Written/Published By: George Dvorsky

Elon Musk warns Starship engines could bankrupt SpaceX

SpaceX faces a “genuine risk of bankruptcy” if Starship can’t fly once every two weeks in 2022, Elon Musk has warned employees, blaming rocket engine production challenges and management crisis for the surprise ultimatum. Starship is set not only to take NASA’s Artemis mission to the Moon later this decade and, beyond that, missions to Mars, in addition to being … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/elon-musk-warns-starship-engines-could-bankrupt-spacex-30700809/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Davies

How NASA’s spacecraft will smash into an asteroid and save Earth from harm next year

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A NASA spacecraft the size of a golf cart has been directed to smash into an asteroid, with the intention of knocking it slightly off course. The test aims to demonstrate our technological readiness in case an actual asteroid threat is detected in the future. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) lifted off aboard a SpaceX rocket from California on November 23, and will arrive at the target asteroid system in September, next year. The mission will travel to the asteroid Didymos, a member of the Amor group of asteroids. Every 12 hours Didymos is orbited by a mini-moon, or…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Source: https://thenextweb.com/news/how-nasas-spacecraft-will-smash-into-an-asteroid-and-save-earth-from-harm-next-year-syndication
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The Article Was Written/Published By: The Conversation

Scientists gain new insight into the atmosphere of Pluto

In the middle of August 2018, the dwarf planet Pluto passed in front of the star giving astronomers an ideal opportunity to learn more about the atmospheric density of the former planet. Researchers from the Southwest Research Institute and a team of astronomers used telescopes at numerous sites in the US and Mexico to observe the atmosphere of Pluto as … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/scientists-gain-new-insight-into-the-atmosphere-of-pluto-06694155/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shane McGlaun

Bizarre ‘Bone’ Asteroid Is Even Weirder Than We Imagined

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Astronomers have captured the best images yet of Kleopatra, a 168-mile-long asteroid nicknamed the “dog-bone” on account of its unusual shape. The latest observations are offering fresh insights into the object’s shape and precarious spin and how its moons likely came into existence.

Read more…

Source: https://gizmodo.com/bizarre-bone-asteroid-is-even-weirder-than-we-imagined-1847638453
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The Article Was Written/Published By: George Dvorsky

A giant asteroid buzzed the Earth yesterday

A gigantic asteroid that is considered potentially hazardous by NASA zipped past the Earth yesterday at a very high rate of speed. The asteroid, called 2016 AJ193, flew past the Earth at a velocity of 58,000 mph. It’s hard to imagine a speed that high; it equates to traveling about 16 miles every second. NASA estimates the asteroid is about … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/a-giant-asteroid-buzzed-the-earth-yesterday-22687978/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shane McGlaun

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