At about 8:48 a.m on Jan. 6 2022, NASA released a statement that Webb’s specialized heat radiator had been deployed successfully. The radiator is essential for the James Webb Space telescope as it enables the telescope’s instruments to reach their required low and stable operating temperatures.
The radiator is a large, rectangular, 4 by 8-foot panel consisting of high-purity aluminium subpanels covered in painted honeycomb cells to create an ultra-black surface. The radiator, which swings away from the backside of the telescope like a trap door on hinges, is connected to the instruments via flexible straps made of high-purity aluminium foil. The radiator also draws heat out of the instruments and dumps it overboard to the extreme cold background of deep space.
Launched on Dec. 24 2021, the James Webb space telescope has 344 single-point potential failures that can happen during the deployment phase. However, none of them has seemed to have occurred, and each part being deployed successfully reduces the number of possible failures significantly.
Yesterday, the telescope also successfully deployed its secondary mirror. The James Webb space telescope has many possible failures that can be catastrophic for the $10 Billion NASA project. However, there have been no reports of anything going wrong as the telescope continues its journey as expected.
Webb’s final series of major deployments are also planned to start tomorrow, Jan. 7, with the rotation into the position of the first of two primary mirror wings. The second primary mirror wing – Webb’s final major spacecraft deployment – is planned for Saturday, Jan. 8, according to NASA.