The ‘seven minutes of terror’ is how engineers describe the process of landing a rover on Mars. That’s how long it takes a robot to come to a complete stop on the surface of Mars after speeding through the atmosphere faster than a rifle bullet; yet so much has to happen in the interim to prevent crashing onto the surface of the planet.
But it’s more like ‘two weeks of terror’ when it comes to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
To witness the very first stars to shine in the Universe, a successor observatory to the enormous Hubble telescope has been developed.
The faint, far-away objects necessitate a massive telescope, one that must be folded to fit within its launch rocket and then unfurled once in orbit to begin snapping photographs of the cosmos.
The landing of the James Webb Space Telescope happens over the course of 14 days, just after the launch in mid-December.
It will entail an incredible symphony of hinges, motors, gears, springs, pulleys, and cables, all of which must function flawlessly.
On December 18, 2021, the James Webb Orbit Telescope will launch into space. Astronomers want to use it to discover the universe’s initial galaxies, look for Earth-like atmospheres orbiting other planets, and achieve a variety of other scientific goals.