The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has completed its second mid-course correction burn.
The burn lasted 9 minutes and 27 seconds and is the second of three course corrections that the telescope will undergo to take it to the second Lagrange point, L2. The first course correction, designated MCC-1a, began twelve and a half hours after launch, as the sooner the course correction occurs, the less propellant is required.
The second course correction, designated MCC-1b, was completed 60 hours after launch. The third course correction, designated MCC-2, will occur near the end of the JWST's journey toward the second Lagrange point, known as L2, about twenty-nine days after launching.
The L2 point and the JWST's orbit around it are only semi-stable, so some propellant will be necessary to keep the JWST operational for its lifetime. If the JWST were to drift away from the equilibrium point, the point where no thrust would be required to keep it there, its thrusters will need to fire to keep it at this point. The thrusters can only push the JWST away from the sun, so the trajectory of the JWST and its MCC's have been carefully coordinated to make sure it doesn't drift in such a way the mission operations team cannot recover it.
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