James Webb Telescope Completes Its Alignment Phase
NASA recently shared the good news that the James Webb Space Telescope has completed its alignment phase. With the completion of the alignment phase, NASA has shared images with a sharp resolution of very faraway stars. The next stage in the commissioning process includes the thermal stability test.
In this test, the telescope will be positioned to receive more or less sunlight than is optimal. This will test the spacecraft in frigid temperatures and extremely high temperatures.
NASA’s Erin Smith said, “The thermal stability exercise will measure these changes by moving between the extremes of Webb’s field of view, from the hot to the cold attitude, spending multiple days in the cold attitude, then slewing back to the hot attitude.”
The test will start in a “hot attitude” at zero degrees pitch and maintain that for five days. After that test is complete, it will be turned to a colder attitude at roughly +40 degrees pitch, where it will remain for about a week.