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James Webb Space Telescope


Kirk W
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I am just wondering how many of us are following the launch and deployment of this latest new telescope into space? Start with the James Webb home page and go from there.  Don't miss the explanation of orbit page and also the animation of orbit video that is on the page. I attempted to insert Where is Webb into this post as a picture via URL but didn't work. Use this link to check exactly where it is and what is happening next. 

We spent some time about a month ago at the McDonald Observatory where we learned a lot of preliminary things about space exploration and I have watched the Hubble Telescope on and off for 30 years now. The entire concept of space is mind numbing for me. It brings to mind a discussion I had not long after the first moon landing, with a relative of my dad's who was 97 at the time. He spoke of the astounding changes that he had seen in his lifetime. We lost cousin Ollie just over 3 years later, but now that I am reaching my later years I often think of that discussion. 

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Yes, I am a huge space fan and been following JWST , with all the delays and technical challenges over the past decades  to get to this point. 

In 1990 I was able to get a vehicle pass and take my 2 small children to witness the launch of STS-31 which placed the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. It was our first of 5 shuttle launches that we would have passes to witness from KSC.

Since then, we have also been at KSC for falcon 9 as well as falcon heavy launches, including the return landing of the boosters. Its amazing to see, but most amazing to feel these events.

We also now routinely see F9 launches from our backyard in south florida.

The next BIG launch from KSC will be the SLS and Artemis 1 mission, although looks like yet another delay due to a faulty engine controller that will have to be swapped out.. this will push the launch into late spring / early summer IF they dont have to unmate and destack the SRB as they only have a year of shelf life once stacked and most likely with expire due to the latest delays...

 

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This conversation makes me think back to August of 1969 when a cousin of my father's who was then 94 years old visited us in our home. One evening Ollie was telling us about the marvelous things that he had observed in his life. He told us of discovering the books by Jules Verne when he was in his teens and his fascination with them. When he learned that Nellie Bly had beaten the record of Around the World in 80 Days, he became convinced that Verne was predicting the future. Now he had lived to see another of Vern's predictions come true. It seems that his teachers labeled him a dreamer and many scoffed at him. He said that he clearly remembered on teacher saying to him, "I suppose that you are one of those who believe that the automobile will replace the horse too."

Having grown up in the late 40's & 50's, I am beginning to understand more fully what Ollie was experiencing. There are even threads on these forums that some a lot like the skeptics of Ollie's youth.

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4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Having grown up in the late 40's & 50's, I am beginning to understand more fully what Ollie was experiencing. There are even threads on these forums that some a lot like the skeptics of Ollie's youth.

In 1998 I had a large dish mounted on my home in order to get any sort of internet beyond 19kbps dialup.  The dish was heavy and difficult to point.  Download speeds were better than dialup but rarely at 100 kbps.  I was content to read email; streaming video wasn't even on the horizon.

Last month I set up my Starlink Dishy which without human pointing routinely provides 200-400 Mbps download speeds.  My video is all streaming now and comes in at full TV resolution (1080p). 

So in <20 years my satellite download speed has increased  from a couple of hundred kilobits per second to several hundred megabits per second.  And, of course, the computer I'm using to connect to the internet is also more than a thousand times faster, also.  In fact, my new phone is a far more capable computer than what I had available in 1998.

Even as a "techie" the rate of change is almost too much to keep up with.

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Amen Joel. I haven't changed a light bulb in years with LED bulbs and fixtures. My shop lights are LED and even the two tube  foot shop light was only 24 bucks at Lowes with 4500 lumens I believe. We have Ring Security cams with Solar on them on all four sides front door and driveway with lights, sirens, and two way speakers that are loud and clear! my lawn mowers and even snow blowers are more powerful than the plug ins, even than many of the gas. I had a gas mower and it bogged down where the battery electric doesn't even slow down.

Hearing aids are tiny and invisible and rechargeable! My rechargeable batteries hold their charge for a years and the chargers are computer controlled, and the run times are as good or better than Alkaline, especially the Li-Ion. My tiny single cell AA LED flashlights actually are using 3.7 volt Li-Ion 14500 batteries and throw a beam further and brighter than my MagLite three cells did until I bought the LED kits for them too!

When we started up the first private Internet provider service in Bitburg Germany in 1995 we had 50 US Robotics 56k modems screaming on the long narrow shelves on the walls and heating the NOC (Network Operating Center) up pretty warm because there were few Air Conditioned offices there. We had an Octopus to handle calls in and out and finally bought a Cisco unit that took the place of all the modems and the Octopus for dial up and it was the size of a thick briefcase! We started a satellite biz there starting with 1 meter actuated dishes we had to install to the satellite Arc we wanted to use.  I returned to the US in Jan 1997 so had just started getting the digital dishes and receivers and before cable modems etc.

Has Moore's law become obsolete yet? Rockets land on their tails and are reusable, and launched much cheaper by a private company than NASA paid/pays their only other contractor who uses Russian Rocket engines where Space X makes theirs here in the US.

I still have a receipt for a 10 MB hard drive I bought in the 1980s for like $250 bucks or so.

MY car is electric and faster than any muscle car I have ever driven and is connected to the Internet. Yes I had muscle cars and trucks and even roadsters.

When was the last time you opened or even wanted a paper map? 5.25" floppy drive? Zip drive? Wind up watch (Not self-winding)?

70" 4k TVs for $699.99? https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tcl-70-class-4-series-led-4k-uhd-hdr-smart-android-tv/6481727.p?skuId=6481727

Amazing!

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On 12/28/2021 at 7:24 AM, Kirk W said:

If you have not been following it, there is a NASA blog with a great deal of information and they also have a NASA/Webb Facebook page. The first course correction was successful and Webb has now passed the moon!

This NASA site provides a day by day timeline of all the steps the telescope will be going through:  https://webb.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

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Now in day 6 the Webb is nearly half of the distance it must travel(49%) but only 20% of the time. It is fascinating to me that the speed of travel is steadily decreasing. I suppose that probably happened with past space shots but I don't recall having nearly as much information about them as is available now. There is an interesting size comparison

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Posted (edited)

And if it didn't slow they would have to slow it in order to keep it from continuing out into space, forever I suppose. With the distance now more than half way there, but time wise only 7 days of 30, I wonder just how far down the speed will be as it arrives? To me, the entire concept of space beyond our solar system is mind boggling. It is one of those subjects that the more I learn about it the more I realize how little I really understand.  🤪 

Watching the temperatures is also interesting.

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It will slow to  zero as relative to distance from the earth is concern , when the  orbit insertion burn occurs it will be placed in a "stationary" halo orbit... in that it will get no further away from earth when it arrrives at L2, then orbits the L2 location , with the same forward momentum as the earths orbit of the sun. Orbital mechanics are complex, but the idea is that its stays in the L2 location where the gravity from earth and sun cancel each other out, with the earth between the sun and JWST.

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On 1/1/2022 at 9:30 AM, Kirk W said:

It is one of those subjects that the more I learn about it the more I realize how little I really understand.  🤪

No truer sentence ever written!

We as humans understand very little in our arrogance.  Where does space begin, where does it end?  Is there a beginning/end to space?  Is space just a tiny bubble in a glass container sitting on some unknown intelligent being's desk or fireplace mantle, or in a terrarium on that being's child's dresser?  If we could travel trillions of light years away from our know solar systems, would be look up and see the same, endless empty(?) dark void?  I want to know what actually contains/controls and purpose of..... space and how big it actually is, not what we guess.  When I look through our small telescope, it makes me feel so tiny, we are nothing compared to what's actually out there.  We are not even the size of a single atom on an elephant's back in the grand theme of .... of what?  Just what the heck is actually out there?  We spend billions to develop bigger and better scopes, but in the end, all we get are better pictures, not what is truly out there.  Don't get me wrong, I look forward to viewing what this shows, I love looking up at night.  Sitting in a reclined chair, glass of wine in hand, looking up and imagining what that intelligent or not so intelligent being is thinking/doing looking up the their sky also wondering if they are the only intelligent critter in that big dark sky.  I was born in the wrong time.  I should have been born a couple thousand years down the road when humans have the ability to travel thousands of light years in a blink of the eye.  I'd put the vessel in overdrive, full steam ahead and not stop until I reach the (end?) of what ever it is.  Maybe then, and a big maybe, the beings I find are able to live together, not kill each other, not hate their neighbors, not spend a lifetime destroying the very thing that gives them life, the mother planet.

Time for me to go grab another cup of coffee, I think I've gone off the deep end but I bet I'm not alone.

Edited by NDBirdman
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, NDBirdman said:

Time for me to go grab another cup of coffee, I think I've gone off the deep end but I bet I'm not alone.

Are you sure it was coffee? My favorite question is, after that, what? Or before that what? Both apply equally. 

Quote

This step begins the Primary Mirror deployment phase.

Nominal Event Time: Launch + 13 days (Friday 1/7/22)

Status: Ongoing.

The deployments team begins planning and operations for the deployment of the left/port (+V2) primary mirror wing from its stowed/launch position into its operational position. This operation deploys and latches the +V2 wing of the primary mirror. Each wing holds three of the 18 mirror segments. This is a motor-driven deployment.

 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Are you sure it was coffee? My favorite question is, after that, what? Or before that what? Both apply equally.

Yea, coffee, and I'm sticking to it!  Don't do a keg pull til late afternoon.  Thanks for the thread though, love reading about the webb scope(sat.).  I am a space addict, and not the TV/Sci-fi baloney.  And yes, I am accused of being... spacey, at times.... LOL

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