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James Webb telescope begins crucial sun shield tensioning

James Webb telescope begins crucial sun shield tensioning

Science
Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The James Webb Space Telescope began one of the most complicated parts of its deployment Monday as NASA sent commands to fully extend the first layer of the observatory's critical five-layer sunshield. The $ 10 billion space telescope -- the largest and most powerful in history -- still is in the first half of its 29-day deployment schedule as it flies through space to a position over one million miles from Earth. Mission controllers worked through two minor issues Sunday that could have degraded performance of the spacecraft over time, according to NASA. But the agency said the space telescope was never in danger and the extra day allowed it to return Webb to optimal performance. On Tuesday and Wednesday, NASA intends to extend the remaining five layers of the shield, whi...