After much anticipation, NASA’s famous Webb Telescope reached a major alignment milestone known as “fine phasing”, earlier this month on March 11th. Scientists are hoping the telescope will help to reveal distant worlds beyond other stars, allowing for further exploration into the deep depths of space.
Upon examination, the team at NASA found that all optical parameters that were checked and tested, were performing at, or above expectations. On an even higher note, the team also found no critical issues or measurable contamination blockages to the telescopes optical path. These are all encouraging signals that the telescope is working as it should be.
“More than 20 years ago, the Webb team set out to build the most powerful telescope that anyone has ever put in space and came up with an audacious optical design to meet demanding science goals,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Today we can say that design is going to deliver.”
The team is expecting to complete all aspects of Optical Telescope alignment by early May 2022, with full resolution imagery and science data expected to be released this summer. This exciting advancement could very soon be allowing us a glimpse into new depths of the galaxy!
NASA’s Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, Optics Working Successfully.
Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center