NASA has explained why there is no real live footage of the James Webb Space Telescope from space as it continues to deploy its mirrors and other instruments.
The new telescope is currently gliding through space at more than 900 miles per hour as it approaches the desired orbit around the sun.
At certain points in its journey NASA released live footage from mission control as the telescope undergoes the intricate process of unfolding its various components including its mirror segments and heat shield.
But while NASA’s live videos provide a dynamic illustration of the telescope’s current state, they don’t provide actual live footage from the telescope — leading people to question why the agency is doing this. The space agency didn’t put a camera on Webb in the first place.
“We heard you say loud and clear: Why doesn’t Webb have a camera for the journey to #UnfoldTheUniverse?” NASA’s Webb Telescope Twitter account written on Thursday afternoon.
In a blog post the same day, the space agency explained why they didn’t put a camera on James Webb so viewers could see its progression in action, even though it “sounds like like no wisdom.”
After all, rockets like SpaceXRegular Falcon 9 models replay the scene from space as they deployed satellites or other spacecraft into orbit, while NASA’s Perseverance rover brought thousands of pictures from the surface of Mars.
“Adding a doorbell cam or even a rocket cam isn’t as simple as adding a doorbell cam or even adding a doorbell cam or even a rocket cam,” said Paul Geithner, deputy project manager for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. is a rocket cam”.
One of the most obvious reasons is light. Webb is currently experiencing extreme contrasts of light, with one side facing the glare from the sun and the other facing the sheer blackness of space. Both of these will cause contrast issues for the onboard cameras.
Another reason is the risk of the cameras causing unnecessary interference. The telescope is extremely sensitive and its parts are currently moving around. If engineers attached harnesses to Webb to hold the cameras in place, they would cross over the moving parts of the telescope and run the risk of leaking heat or causing vibrations.
For example, the infrared light probes in most Webb devices need to be around -387 degrees Fahrenheit to function properly. Any heat transfer through the camera wire, can be a problem.
Even if engineers overcome these challenges, the reality is that the cameras will be pretty much useless to monitor Webb’s implementation from a scientific perspective.
The teams actually tried adding deployment cameras to Webb’s all-hardware model at one point, but they found that the telescope’s built-in sensors provided much better information about its state. compared to possible cameras, according to the NASA blog post.
In short, while it would be interesting to see footage from Webb’s surface, an onboard camera would give some techies a headache.
NASA currently providing data Where is Webb’s status including temperature, speed, distance and deployment stage via Webb? online tools.
https://www.newsweek.com/why-nasa-doesnt-show-live-feed-images-james-webb-telescope-cameras-1666772 Why isn’t NASA showing real live feed images of the James Webb . Telescope?