NASA James Webb Space Telescope 1-Million Miles Earth
It’s official as of 2 p.m. EST today, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fired its onboard thrusters for nearly five minutes to complete the final postlaunch course correction to Webb’s trajectory. This inserts the telescope toward its final orbit around the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, or L2, which is almost 1-million miles away from Earth. The final mid-course burn added around 3.6mph to Webb’s speed, which was all that was required to send it to its preferred “halo” orbit around the L2 point. Read more for a video and additional information.

What is so important about the L2 point? Well, the orbit will give Webb a wide view of the cosmos at any given moment, as well as enable the telescope optics and scientific instruments to get cold enough to function and perform optimal science. Since Webb’s primary mirror segments and secondary mirror have successfully been deployed from their launch positions, engineers can now begin the sophisticated 3-month process of aligning the telescope’s optics to nearly nanometer precision.

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NASA James Webb Space Telescope 1-Million Miles Earth

Webb, welcome home! Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work ensuring Webb’s safe arrival at L2 today. We’re one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can’t wait to see Webb’s first new views of the universe this summer!,” said Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator.

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