Washington : The antenna assembly of the James Webb Space Telescope has been successfully tested as it continues its journey to its final observing spot, located one million miles away from Earth, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) informs.
“Shortly after 10 am EST [15:00 GMT] on Dec. 26, the Webb team began the process of releasing the gimbaled antenna assembly, or GAA, which includes Webb’s high-data-rate dish antenna. This antenna will be used to send at least 28.6 Gbytes of science data down from the observatory, twice a day. The team has now released and tested the motion of the antenna assembly,” NASA said on Sunday.
The telescope’s temperature sensors have also been tested, NASA said. Earlier, Webb successfully completed a mid-course correction burn and NASA explained that the telescope will orbit the Sun in line with Earth so its sunshield can protect Webb from light and heat.
An Ariane 5 rocket with the James Webb telescope took off on Saturday from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The largest and most powerful space telescope ever launched, Webb will replace the famous Hubble telescope. It will take Webb about one month to reach its final destination: the second Lagrange point (L2), and it is expected to start taking images of the universe in about six months.