With the deployment of its main mirror, the James Webb Space Telescope successfully completed the final stage of its deployment on Saturday.
The telescope is now in its final configuration to begin its exploration of the cosmos in just over five months.
The telescope’s iconic main mirror is about 6.5 metres in diameter and was too large to fit into a rocket when it took off a fortnight ago. Therefore, its two sides were folded up.
The first of the two wings was deployed on Friday, and the second opened on Saturday morning, as planned, said NASA. The space agency’s teams were still locking it in place, however, to secure it permanently.
Two weeks after launch, @NASAWebb has hit its next biggest milestone: the mirrors have completed deployment and the next-generation telescope has taken its final form.
Next up for Webb? Five months of alignment and calibration before we start getting images: pic.twitter.com/BOj5O1HS37
— NASA (@NASA) January 8, 2022