The Webb has a million miles to go to reach its operational area to begin its 5 to 10 year exploration of the early universe

[ Editor’s Note: The European Space Agency (ESA) Airene rocket had a smooth lift off at 7:20 this morning. The video below has ground camera footage until the rocket breaks into the clouds above.

The presentation then shifts over to an animation showing the separation of the two booster rockets, with the center engine igniting to take the Webb to its separation point where its rocket power terminates, and then the telescope’s casing is ejected.

Webb final booster ignites (annimation) that will take it to its operational station. En route it will initiate turning itself on and unfolding.

This came as a surprise, as I thought that it would not have been cast off until much further out. The Webb will now start deploying and turning on its equipment, starting with its solar power panel, which will be its beating heart for some time.

It will then begin the step by step process of unfolding itself, while using its positioning jets and precious chemical fuel to carefully keep the sunlight temperature within the design parameters.

UpDate: Webb has deployed it solar array OK.


The target is to have the Webb fully deployed by the time it reaches an operational position, with the five layer heat shields deployed and recording the appropriate temperature needed to turn the telescope on.

Once it begins operation on station, it has a long process of getting its mirrors perfectly aligned for maximum accuracy, without which the photos it captures would be blurred and inhibit any useful scientific analysis.

The critical nature of the precision needed is what dragged the project out, as new engineering had to be invented. For example, each mirror has a huge number of positions where tiny adjustments can be made to ensure the best focus.

The testing of all this equipment took two years inside the largest refrigeration capsule in the world to date. Cross your fingers that after all this time and expenditure, the technology will be proven effective, because that will mean lower costs for follow up missions… Jim W. Dean ]

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First published December 25, 2021



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  1. As Carl Sagan once said, “the pale blue dot in an unknown galaxy on the outer edges of the universe, and possibly the only one” (only one with life because of the water).

  2. Of all the satellites and all cameras and telescopes in outer space, you’d think there would be at least one pointed at earth giving the full globe true color, impossible to be faked real view of our “planet.”

    • If it was faked then we get to see faked reports for the next 5 to 10 years, with everyone involved staying quiet about it. That would be quite a hat trick as we live in the age of the whistleblowers. And why stop there. Why not pose that all space exploration has been faked? It’s easy to do. You just go on a comment board and say so when you are bored one day.

    • Oh and by the way Jim, you being a professional camera man should know quite well the high state of the art, and the quality of video that could “theorectically” show our “planet” as clearly in true color, as if one were looking at it from 100 thousand miles or whatever range that would give the most ideal view.
      And since it could be shown in real time, every weather pattern and any other real terrestrial event would be perfectly seen.
      And though fakery has also reached a highly advanced state, I do not believe they could fake the real “real” thing.
      I’m not saying the earth is flat.
      But just because they show faked pictures from a fake space station doesn’t make me believe we went to the moon.

    • “I don’t have to stay it Jim. You just did.” This is not a credible position but comment boredom. The leap from its being possible to fake stuff, to hence the space stuff is fake, is a silly stretech. Why not take it all the way, all of the space telescopes all over the world are just a slick embezzlement scheme, with all th workers predenting to work. That’s what you are saying, and too conveniently lazy. There have always been commenters who amuse themselve doing this…the world we live in.

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