James Webb space telescope completes critical deployment of ‘golden eye’ mirror

A total of 18 hexagonal mirrors, each coated with 48 grams of gold to maximize infrared reflection, are fixed in place.

The mirror is so big that it had to be folded orgasm style to fit the rocket that flew from South America two weeks ago. The most dangerous operation occurred earlier in the week, when the 71-foot sun visor opened, providing a subzero canopy for the mirror and infrared detectors.

Flight controllers in Baltimore began opening the primary mirror on Friday, opening the left side like a table with folding wings.

With the right side settling in place on Saturday, there was a flurry of applause, but the controllers had to stifle their festivities as they began to remotely lock the mirrors in place.

This mirror is made of beryllium, a lightweight and cold-resistant metal. The hexagons need to be adjusted to the size of a coffee table in the coming days and weeks so they can focus as one.


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