Following up on yesterday's article about NASA planning on performing a correctional burn for the James Webb Space Telescope, the space agency has announced good news - the burn is complete and Webb has reached its destination.
NASA took to its blog and social media channels to announce that at 2 p.m EST Webb fired its onboard thrusters for 297 seconds, or nearly five minutes. This burn was the final post-launch course correction to Webb's overall trajectory, and pushed the observatory into its final destination - the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2) located nearly 1 million miles away from Earth.
Despite the thrusters burning for nearly 5 minutes, Webb only increased in speed by 3.6 miles per hour, but that was all that was required to get the space telescope in its designated position. Now that Webb has arrived in its final location, engineers will begin the sophisticated three-month process of aligning all of Webb's optics, while also simultaneously waiting for its instruments to cool down for optimal use.
"Webb, welcome home! Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work ensuring Webb's safe arrival at L2 today. We're one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can't wait to see Webb's first new views of the universe this summer!", said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
"During the past month, JWST has achieved amazing success and is a tribute to all the folks who spent many years and even decades to ensure mission success. We are now on the verge of aligning the mirrors, instrument activation and commissioning, and the start of wondrous and astonishing discoveries," said Bill Ochs, Webb project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
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