A major step has been completed with the James Webb Space Telescope as the last three mirrors were delivered to the Goddard Space Flight Center. There are 18 total hexagonal mirrors that were created by the Ball Aerospace company. When these mirrors are fully assembled they will not only be the largest mirrors to ever be sent into space, but they will also allow us to peer deep into space.
The James Webb Telescope will be about a million miles away from Earth. Overall, the 18 mirror pieces will be assembled in a Class 10,000 cleanroom and form a giant 21.3- foot mirror. The mirror pieces had to survive a cross- country journey across several states and were carefully packaged in a hermetically sealed container. This container was designed to keep the mirrors safe during the changing climates and elevations along the way.
“Having the final mirror segments at Goddard is an exciting program milestone. It’s the culmination of more than a decade of advanced optics manufacturing and testing work by teams of extremely dedicated engineers, technicians and scientists,” says Eric Smith, NASA’s acting Webb telescope director in Washington. “These mirrors are ready to meet up with the structure that will hold them incredibly stable, forming Webb’s 6.5-meter-diameter primary mirror — the largest space telescope ever built.”
This is an exciting step for the Webb telescope, and we’ll keep you updated with its progress.