Things are looking good for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The project first considered as the Next Generation Space Telescope in 1996, and this ambitious project had a very long and difficult road to travel. Now it seems we are moving closer to a launch. NASA has announced that the telescope has completed the final operational performance test. Internal electronics are all functional and the observatory and its four instruments are all sending and receiving data in their own way. A similar test performed after the environmental test where the JWST placed under the same type of stress conditions that it would experience during launch.
The test lasted 17 days to make sure everything was going smoothly. Each electric box in a telescope has two sides, an important redundancy to prepare for the unexpected. The observatory will be far away from the moon’s orbit, so once it ascends, it will become itself. Therefore, everything has done fine. Jennifer Love-Pruitt, Northrop Grumman’s electric vehicle engineering leader at the Web Observatory, said in a statement, “It is amazing to see the level of efficiency, commitment and collaboration across the team during this important milestone.” “This is certainly a proud moment because we have demonstrated the electrical readiness of the web. The successful completion of this test means that we are ready to move forward with launch and on-orbit activities.”
When all goes according to plan, JWST will launch on October 31, 2021. In 2002, the telescope received its current name during the Apollo program, honoring NASA administrators from 1961 to 1969. The election became controversial in 2015 when it revealed that the web had a hand in state sponsorship of gay and bisexual scientists and civil servants from federal jobs to facilitate gay policy discussions among U.S. senators.
Webb deliberately excluded women from the astronaut program while he was NASA’s administrator and widely shared his misconceptions about women in the U.S. military. The first female officer of the US Naval Academy graduated in 1980. Webb was a professor there and he chose to publish the article “Women Can Fight” to clarify his feelings about the subject. Astronomers and science communicators, including Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Dr. Sarah Total, Dr. Lucian Walkowicz, Dr. Brian Nord, Phil Platt and Matthew Francis, have called for the renaming of JWST over the past few years.