James Webb Space Telescope: Sun shield is fully deployed

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The new James Webb telescope has passed a major milestone in its quest to image the first stars to shine in the cosmos. Controllers on Tuesday completed the deployment of the space observatory’s giant kite-shaped sun shield. Only with this tennis court-sized barrier will Webb have the sensitivity to detect the signals coming from the most distant objects in the Universe. Commissioning work will now concentrate on unpacking the telescope’s mirrors, the largest of which is 6.5m wide. The deployment of the five-membrane sun shield is a triumph for the engineering teams at the US space agency (Nasa) and the American aerospace manufacturer Northrop Grumman. There were many who doubted the wisdom of a design that included so many motors, gears, pulleys and cables.” (01/05/22)