Once on orbit, the 18 hexagonal mirror segments will work together as one 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror, the largest mirror ever flown in space and the first to deploy in space.
"Having the final mirror segments at Goddard is an exciting program milestone. It's the culmination of more than a decade of advanced optics manufacturing and testing work by teams of extremely dedicated engineers, technicians and scientists," said
The mirrors were built by
"Ball's sophisticated mirror architecture will provide
Ball began an incremental process of shipping the finished mirrors to Goddard in
The premier observatory for the next decade, the Webb telescope will be stationed 1 million miles (1.5 million km) from Earth - some four times farther away from us than the moon. Webb will be the most powerful space telescope ever built, able to detect the light from the first galaxies ever formed and explore planets around distant stars. It will study every phase of our universe's history, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of stellar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own solar system.
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