On Saturday, NASA’s new space telescope opened its huge, gold-plated, flower-shaped mirror as its final step in the observatory’s dramatic beginning. The final portion of the 6.5 metre mirror swung into place at the flight controller’s command. Thomas Zurbuchen, the chief of NASA’s science missions said “I’m emotional about it. What an amazing milestone. We see that beautiful pattern out there in the sky now,”
The James Webb Telescope is meant to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope as it is more powerful. It cost a total of US$10 billion and it will scan the cosmos for light streaming from the first stars and galaxies formed 13.7 billion years ago. The telescope is powerful due to it having the largest and most sensitive mirror ever launched into space.
The James Webb telescope was so big it had to be folded origami-style to fit in the rocket that launched from South America two weeks ago. Flight controllers at NASA began opening the primary mirror Friday, unfolding the left side like a drop-leaf table. On Saturday, they snapped the right side into place with peppy music filling the control room.
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