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Space Telescope’s ‘Golden Eye’ Opens, Last Major Hurdle

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Engineering teams at NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Mission Operations Center at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore monitor progress as the observatory's second primary mirror wing rotates into position, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. The last portion of the 21-foot (6.5-meter) mirror swung into place at flight controllers’ command, completing the unfolding of the James Webb Space Telescope _ the riskiest part of the mission. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

(AP) — NASA’s new space telescope has opened its gold-plated, flower-shaped mirror, the largest and most sensitive ever launched. The final part of the 21-foot mirror swung into place Saturday at flight controllers’ command, completing the unfolding of the James Webb Space Telescope. Webb is so big that it had to be folded orgami-style to fit in the rocket that soared from South America two weeks ago. Its tennis court-size sunshield unfurled earlier in the week, providing subzero shade for the mirror and science instruments. More powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, the $10 billion Webb will scan the cosmos for infrared light from the first stars and galaxies formed 13.7 billion years ago.

 

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