NASA Is Aligning The Mirrors On The James Webb Space Telescope
NASA has confirmed its next major task for the James Webb Space Telescope is aligning the mirrors. Aligning the mirrors is critical for operations of the telescope, and NASA says the procedure will take about three months to accomplish.
Without precisely aligned mirrors, the telescope is unable to see into the cosmos clearly. Once the alignment is complete, all three of the large gold mirrors will function as a single unit. Unfortunately, aligning the mirrors is quite a complicated undertaking.
The alignment system consists of 132 different actuators, each working to move the segments of the mirrors exactly where they need to be. The telescope also has a fine steering mirror intended to be used during the image stabilization process.
The alignment process should be complete by the middle of April. This is the latest announcement from NASA concerning the James Webb Space Telescope, which launched on Christmas Day 2021.