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  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by XDurionX View Post
    Next up is the radiator so they can get this thing down to the crazy operating temps required. Then the mirrors get deployed before the orbital burn. Every step is nerve wracking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerraw View Post
    NASA's science teams are absolutely insane, and I love it all.
    The people they attract are both brilliant and dedicated which has given us some truly amazing results. The crazy thing about all this is the next telescope is scheduled to go up in less than a decade. Right now we can only look at a tiny fraction of the sky at any point in time, each telescope we add to that arsenal will give us a much greater ability to do research. The next 20-30 years are going to be fascinating.

  2. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    The people they attract are both brilliant and dedicated which has given us some truly amazing results. The crazy thing about all this is the next telescope is scheduled to go up in less than a decade. Right now we can only look at a tiny fraction of the sky at any point in time, each telescope we add to that arsenal will give us a much greater ability to do research. The next 20-30 years are going to be fascinating.
    I hope we eventually see the plan to put one on the backside of the Moon come to fruition.

  3. #203
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Next up is the radiator so they can get this thing down to the crazy operating temps required. Then the mirrors get deployed before the orbital burn. Every step is nerve wracking.
    The secondary mirror is deployed before the aft deployed instrument radiator. That radiator is already down to around 76 K, though.
    "There is a pervasive myth that making content hard will induce players to rise to the occasion. We find the opposite. " -- Ghostcrawler
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  4. #204
    Secondary mirror has been deployed. 75% of the single points of failure have been passed.
    Meanwhile, back on Azeroth, the overwhelming majority of the orcs languished in internment camps. One Orc had a dream. A dream to reunite the disparate souls trapped under the lock and key of the Alliance. So he raided the internment camps, freeing those orcs that he could, and reached out to a downtrodden tribe of trolls to aid him in rebuilding a Horde where orcs could live free of the humans who defeated them so long ago. That orc's name was... Rend.

  5. #205
    Final deployment of the primary mirror to take place tomorrow. And when that is done the entire space telescope is deployed! After that they will start calibrating the individual mirror sections. Plus there's another two weeks to go until it reaches L2.

  6. #206
    Primary mirror has unfolded.
    Meanwhile, back on Azeroth, the overwhelming majority of the orcs languished in internment camps. One Orc had a dream. A dream to reunite the disparate souls trapped under the lock and key of the Alliance. So he raided the internment camps, freeing those orcs that he could, and reached out to a downtrodden tribe of trolls to aid him in rebuilding a Horde where orcs could live free of the humans who defeated them so long ago. That orc's name was... Rend.

  7. #207
    They did it! They unpacked the entire thing!

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerraw View Post
    They did it! They unpacked the entire thing!
    Very exciting day for everyone at NASA, and anyone who loves science. Now we have a bunch of travel time left and testing/calibration steps before they can hit the picture button for the first time. I am excited about the entire process and can’t wait for the summer when it starts collecting data.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Very exciting day for everyone at NASA, and anyone who loves science. Now we have a bunch of travel time left and testing/calibration steps before they can hit the picture button for the first time. I am excited about the entire process and can’t wait for the summer when it starts collecting data.
    So cool. Can't wait till it hits the L2 orbit.

  10. #210
    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    So cool. Can't wait till it hits the L2 orbit.
    I’m gonna be nervous until it starts producing images. So many things that can go wrong a million miles from Earth…

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    I’m gonna be nervous until it starts producing images. So many things that can go wrong a million miles from Earth…
    Same here - I can't imagine being on the actual team who put this altogether. How do they even sleep at this point?

  12. #212
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    I’m gonna be nervous until it starts producing images. So many things that can go wrong a million miles from Earth…
    At least at this point they're past the critical phase of deployment. From here on out everything can be adjusted as needed.

  13. #213
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    Anything JWST produces will be of great interest to scientists, but what about from a commoner's perspective? Anything beyond pretty pictures? What do scientist expect the first stars to tell us?
    Now you see it. Now you don't.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuben View Post
    Anything JWST produces will be of great interest to scientists, but what about from a commoner's perspective? Anything beyond pretty pictures? What do scientist expect the first stars to tell us?
    You like learning? Some people, myself included, like knowing about the universe we live in. Otherwise nothing

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  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuben View Post
    Anything JWST produces will be of great interest to scientists, but what about from a commoner's perspective? Anything beyond pretty pictures? What do scientist expect the first stars to tell us?
    Nothing immediate. Higher quality images can reveal new things and unknown phenomena which helps to advance astronomy and astrophysics. Explaining why the universe is precisely the way that it is at the largest scale can be just as helpful as explaining the universe at the smallest scales. The further we can peer into time/space, the better.

    Often times scientists don't know what practical things will come from gaining more data and scientific knowledge. That's why we just have to explore everything unknown, because we've no clue where the next big discovery will come from.
    Last edited by PC2; 2022-01-09 at 04:47 AM.
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  16. #216
    Legendary! Zuben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    You like learning? Some people, myself included, like knowing about the universe we live in. Otherwise nothing
    Considering I haven't looked that deeply into what we already know my interest in JWST, beyond appreciating its technical achievements, is potential data of tangible use. To call back on an XKCD strip, I don't so much love science as check its butt as it passes by. Engineering feats like what SpaceX has done with its rockets are something that I see introducing exciting new things to the world we live in, where as data about distant stars probably won't have that effect, at least not for a good while. Finding extra-terrestrial life is another matter of course, and if I understood correctly JWST has some capability for that as well. Overall, a grander window into our galaxy will serve our eventual space traversing aspirations.

    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    Nothing immediate. Higher quality images can reveal new things and unknown phenomena which helps to advance astronomy and astrophysics. Explaining why the universe is precisely the way that it is at the largest scale can be just as helpful as explaining the universe at the smallest scales. The further we can peer into time/space, the better.

    Often times scientists don't know what practical things will come from gaining more data and scientific knowledge. That's why we just have to explore everything unknown, because we've no clue where the next big discovery will come from.
    This reminds me of Interstellar, where Cooper enters the Gargantuan and somehow, by simply being there and experiencing that weird existence, realizes the missing parts to his daughter's gravity manipulation formula. Seeing pictures and datasheets of the first stars won't probably have such an effect, but yeah, accumulating data is what eventually produces breakthroughs. It's a cool thing what JWST does.
    Now you see it. Now you don't.

  17. #217
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuben View Post
    Considering I haven't looked that deeply into what we already know my interest in JWST, beyond appreciating its technical achievements, is potential data of tangible use. To call back on an XKCD strip, I don't so much love science as check its butt as it passes by. Engineering feats like what SpaceX has done with its rockets are something that I see introducing exciting new things to the world we live in, where as data about distant stars probably won't have that effect, at least not for a good while. Finding extra-terrestrial life is another matter of course, and if I understood correctly JWST has some capability for that as well. Overall, a grander window into our galaxy will serve our eventual space traversing aspirations.
    In terms of engineering the telescope is the first of the next generation of space probes. Its a real life transformer. The thing is massive and they shoved it into a rocket thats actually kind of small compared to the big heavy lifters. Its a little smaller than a tennis court and just hangs out well past the Moon. The engineering behind JWST is going to teach us how to launch larger and more sophisticated craft into space.

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  18. #218
    It’s a relief to now be able to talk about the good news that our fuel situation looks so good, that the mission may be limited by how long parts last (reaction wheels, star trackers, electronics boxes, filter wheels), rather than fuel.
    https://twitter.com/janerrigby/statu...77293536505857

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    https://arstechnica.com/science/2022...opes-lifetime/

    10 years of expected lifetime has now become 20, thanks to the Ariane 5 rocket it launched on.

  19. #219
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerraw View Post
    https://twitter.com/janerrigby/statu...77293536505857

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    https://arstechnica.com/science/2022...opes-lifetime/

    10 years of expected lifetime has now become 20, thanks to the Ariane 5 rocket it launched on.
    Can I let you in on a secret? You probably know it already. The entire mission was over engineered (not in a bad way). Their planned launch and development was a very conservative take on what the craft and rocket were capable of. The actual engineers and flight operators were fairly confident in everything up to this point. They've done so many tests, simulations, dry runs that they weren't worried really about anything but unknown unknowns, which you can't stress about.

    There's rarely a NASA mission that doesn't end up with a ton of extra mission time. They are that cautious and forward thinking, for better or worse. Hats off to the ESA because the Ariane 5 isn't always recognized for being the marvel it is. It's not as big as a Delta IV, not as sexy as a Falcon 9, doesn't have the prestige of a Soyuz or Proton, but is a reliable work horse.

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  20. #220
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Can I let you in on a secret? You probably know it already. The entire mission was over engineered (not in a bad way). Their planned launch and development was a very conservative take on what the craft and rocket were capable of. The actual engineers and flight operators were fairly confident in everything up to this point. They've done so many tests, simulations, dry runs that they weren't worried really about anything but unknown unknowns, which you can't stress about.

    There's rarely a NASA mission that doesn't end up with a ton of extra mission time. They are that cautious and forward thinking, for better or worse. Hats off to the ESA because the Ariane 5 isn't always recognized for being the marvel it is. It's not as big as a Delta IV, not as sexy as a Falcon 9, doesn't have the prestige of a Soyuz or Proton, but is a reliable work horse.
    They are definitely squeezing as much life out of their missions as possible. However, for this one the fuel was the hard constraint on its lifetime, due to the nature of the L2 orbit. No amount of engineering on the telescope itself would have prolonged that beyond what I'm sure was already the maximum (I know there's the possibility of a refueling mission, and they designed the telescope in such a way that it can accept that).

    The funny thing about chemical rockets is how imprecise they can be. It's not like KSP where you can simply hold the throttle at 2% until you get the exact orbital parameters that you want. The thrust is determined by the pressure in the combustion chamber, and that combustion needs a certain pressure to be able to be maintained. If it drops below a certain point then it just stops. I have no idea what the specific numbers for the Ariane upper stage are, but I know that the SpaceX Merlin 1D vacuum engine can throttle to around 40% without issue, which is considered crazy good in spaceflight. I assume the Ariane upper stage does not get near that.

    Which, in the end, is what makes this ultra-precise insertion so nuts. No amount of engineering on the JWST would have done anything about this. This is entirely due to the math done from the flight engineers of Arianespace, and using four decades of experience to analyze and predict the exact trajectory of their rocket to the point where they doubled the expected lifetime of the telescope. Doubled. Component failure may now actually be a factor in the lifetime, instead of the fuel being the only limiter.

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