Relief as NASA's most powerful space telescope finishes risky unfolding
The James Webb Space Telescope has pulled off a harrowing sequence of steps that will soon allow humans to peer deeper into the universe than ever before.
The most powerful telescope ever sent into space has survived the riskiest part of its mission: a treacherous deployment involving hundreds of do-or-die steps. Since its launch on Christmas Day, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope has spun, stretched, and swung its limbs into their final configuration—a tricky transformation accomplished while hurtling to a point in space a million miles away.
For scientists and engineers working on the mission, and for space enthusiasts following along, it’s been a tense 15 days. The telescope had to perform each step flawlessly, and although engineers had rehearsed the carefully choreographed sequence here on Earth, there was no telling how the observatory would actually perform once it got into space. One