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NASA has now extended the sunshield booms for the James Webb Telescope

NASA has confirmed the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) port and starboard mid-booms have been extended, unfurling its sunshield.

Published Sat, Jan 1 2022 3:07 AM CST   |   Updated Sun, Jan 23 2022 11:01 PM CST

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is so close to completing the first stage of its deployment.

NASA has now extended the sunshield booms for the James Webb Telescope 01 |

On 7 p.m. EST December 31st, 2021 (00:00 UTC January 1st, 2022), NASA confirmed the port side mid-boom was successfully extended, designated the +J2 side.The boom was extended with a motor, after the sunshield covers were rolled up in the previous preliminary step for eventually unfurling the sunshield.

Almost four hours later, NASA announced the second mid-boom on the starboard side (-J2 side) of the JWST was successfully extended. The mid-booms pull out the five sunshield membranes into a large diamond shape, which will next be tensioned to finalize their deployment.

The deployment of the mid-booms was delayed by several hours, as mission controllers had to ensure the sunshield cover had been fully rolled up first.

"Switches that should have indicated that the cover rolled up did not trigger when they were supposed to. However, secondary and tertiary sources offered confirmation that it had. Temperature data seemed to show that the sunshield cover unrolled to block sunlight from a sensor, and gyroscope sensors indicated motion consistent with the sunshield cover release devices being activated," said NASA.

You can keep up to date with the JWST's progress in real-time, here.

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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