NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s largest and most powerful space science telescope, opened its iconic primary mirror for the last time while it is on Earth.
Announced on 11 May, this event, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, marked a key milestone in preparing the observatory for launch later this year.
As part of the NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s final tests, the 6.5-meter (21 feet 4 inch) mirror was commanded to fully expand and lock itself into place, just like it would in space.
The conclusion of this test represents the team’s final checkpoint in a long series of tests designed to ensure Webb’s 18 hexagonal mirrors are prepared for a long journey in space, and a life of profound discovery.
After this, all of Webb’s many movable parts will have confirmed in testing that they can perform their intended operations after being exposed to the expected launch environment.