According to NASA , a serious failure nearly ended the James Webb telescope soon . If it hadn’t been fixed, we wouldn’t have the probe 1.5 million kilometers away.
The James Webb Space Telescope has made news in recent days for the spectacular images it has revealed of our deep universe. However, everything would have been very different if an error in space had a negative effect on the NASA probe .
Scientists behind the project have revealed that the James Webb had a problem with its sunscreens on the way to its destination that caused “panic” in laboratories on the planet.
James Webb and his almost irremediable flaw
According to mission manager Carl Starr, during the process of deploying its sensors and systems, the James Webb was unable to properly unroll the sunshields on the telescope panels .
From Earth, NASA did not get a response about the success of this act, so they stopped the process. After that, Starr says, “we tried to reactivate it and it didn’t work.” “Maybe it got stuck in some way. It was very serious, I’m not sure how to describe it, but everything went quiet, and people got very solemn,” he says in a documentary on Science Channel .
Minutes passed and the confirmation alarm was never activated. Fortunately, the engineers on the ground began to have telemetry data, a fact for which only these panels are responsible, concluding that the sunscreens had been correctly deployed, but they did not activate the switch.
More problems on the way
This problem was not the only one James Webb had as he also suffered from the impact of micrometeorites .
As NASA points out, “of the six micrometeorite impacts detected so far, five had negligible effects. In contrast, the micrometeorite that hit the C3 segment in the period May 22-24, 2022 UT caused a significant and irreparable change in the general state of that segment”.
However, nothing seems to stop the space telescope that will work for 10 years. His mission is more than important, discovering the first galaxies and stars of existence, as well as trying to answer a basic question of humanity: Are we alone in the universe?