All Primary Mirrors fully installed on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Take a look at the impressive assembly timelapse…
NASA’s latest time-lapse video shows the James Webb Space Telescope‘s primary mirror’s full assembly from start to finish. The video, which covers almost three months of work has been sped up to run just over a minute to cover this meticulous labor-intensive procedure.
Images credit NASA
Using a robotic arm reminiscent of a claw machine, the team meticulously installed all of Webb’s primary mirror segments onto the telescope structure.
“Installing the primary mirror segments onto the telescope structure was an amazing team effort amongst incredibly talented engineers and technicians and one highly reliable robot,” said Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Building the primary mirror is a key milestone in the development of any telescope and this is especially the case for Webb.”
Each of the hexagonal-shaped mirror segments measures just over 4.2 feet (1.3 meters) across — about the size of a coffee table — and weighs approximately 88 pounds (40 kilograms). Once in space and fully deployed, the 18 primary mirror segments will work together as one large 21.3-foot diameter (6.5-meter) mirror.
The James Webb Space Telescope team completed this significant milestone, but continues to work on other key steps to build and test this tennis-court sized space telescope.