James Webb Space Telescope: Sun Shield Fully Deployed

"On Tuesday morning, all five layers of the James Webb Space Telescope were fully locked into place," writes Slashdot reader quonset. The BBC reports: There were many who doubted the wisdom of a design that included so many motors, gears, pulleys and cables. But years of testing on full-scale and sub-scale models paid dividends as controllers first separated the shield's different layers and then tensioned them. The fifth and final membrane was locked into place at 16:58 GMT. "The unfurling and securing of the sun shield is part of what NASA refers to as '29 days on the edge,' writes quonset, citing an article from CNN. "During the 29 days, Webb will set up shop, unfurling its giant gold mirror and the protective tennis court-size sunshield. This process involves thousands of parts that must function harmoniously, in the right sequence. Fortunately, each step can be controlled from the ground in case there are issues." "The next step is the unboxing of the mirror which had to be folded to fit inside the nose cone of the rocket for launch. If all goes well, by the end of the weekend, the mirror will be in place and ready for testing before full operations begin."

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