Here's how long the James Webb Telescope will be operational

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has almost arrived at its destination, but how long will it be there for? What's its lifespan?

@JakConnorTT
Published Tue, Jan 11 2022 2:04 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Feb 4 2022 12:34 PM CST

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) recently completed all major deployments, and now the Webb team is sitting in some well-deserved breathing room.

Here's how long the James Webb Telescope will be operational 03 | TweakTown.com

NASA recently took to its blog to announce that the Webb team is moving forward with aligning all 18 of the observatory's iconic gold-coated mirrors, a process that will take around 5 months to complete. At the same time, the Webb team will be preparing the extremely sensitive instruments that will then relay the first batch of images back to Earth in the summer of 2022.

Now that Webb is approaching its destination and is moving into the new phase of its process of unfolding to operational capabilities, some individuals are wondering how long the life of Webb will be. Bill Ochs, the Webb project manager, told reporters in a livestream that Webb's lifespan depends on the amount of propellant the observatory has.

"Right now, because of the efficiency or the accuracy with which Ariane 5 put us on orbit, and our accuracy and effectiveness implementing our mid-course corrections, we have quite a bit of fuel margin right now relative to 10 years," said Ochs when referring to an earlier propellant estimation.

"Roughly speaking, it's [now] around 20 years of propellant, roughly speaking, and that's TBD [to be determined]," added Ochs.

According to Ochs, Webb has roughly around 20 years of propellant, and NASA expects that Webb will be active for at least 10 years if everything goes smoothly.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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