19 votes NASA says Webb’s excess fuel likely to extend its lifetime expectations Posted December 30, 2021 by AugustusFerdinand Tags: astronomy, james webb space telescope, arianespace, usa, nasa, telescopes, author.karen fox, short read https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2021/12/29/nasa-says-webbs-excess-fuel-likely-to-extend-its-lifetime-expectations/ Link information This data is scraped automatically and may be incorrect. Authors Karen Fox Published Dec 29 2021 Word count 374 words 1 comment Collapse replies Expand all Comments sorted by most votes newest first order posted relevance OK AugustusFerdinand (OP) December 30, 2021 (edited December 30, 2021) Link Absolutely amazing launch that went immensely better than expected and looks to extend the mission even further. Stunning performance from Arianespace. After a successful launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Dec. 25, and completion of two mid-course correction maneuvers, the Webb team has analyzed its initial trajectory and determined the observatory should have enough propellant to allow support of science operations in orbit for significantly more than a 10-year science lifetime. (The minimum baseline for the mission is five years.) The extra propellant is largely due to the precision of the Arianespace Ariane 5 launch, which exceeded the requirements needed to put Webb on the right path, as well as the precision of the first mid-course correction maneuver – a relatively small, 65-minute burn after launch that added approximately 45 mph (20 meters/sec) to the observatory’s speed. A second correction maneuver occurred on Dec. 27, adding around 6.3 mph (2.8 meters/sec) to the speed. The accuracy of the launch trajectory had another result: the timing of the solar array deployment. That deployment was executed automatically after separation from the Ariane 5 based on a stored command to deploy either when Webb reached a certain attitude toward the Sun ideal for capturing sunlight to power the observatory – or automatically at 33 minutes after launch. Because Webb was already in the correct attitude after separation from the Ariane 5 second stage, the solar array was able to deploy about a minute and a half after separation, approximately 29 minutes after launch. Absolutely amazing launch that went immensely better than expected and looks to extend the mission even further. Stunning performance from Arianespace. 10 votes
Absolutely amazing launch that went immensely better than expected and looks to extend the mission even further. Stunning performance from Arianespace.