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Space exploration - An orbital maintenance platform approaching NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST); docking ring; sunshield; halo orbit; Lagrange point 2; auxiliary booster; spacecraft; spaceship; aerospace; astrodynamics - Space Art Illustration
 

OMP approaches the James Webb Space Telescope

A manned orbital maintenance platform (OMP) approaches NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The James Webb Space Telescope orbits a semi-stable  Lagrange point, in this case Lagrange point 2 (aka the Earth–Sun L2 point) about 930 thousand miles from the Earth.

In this image the JWST is in the foreground on the right. Looking like a pink kite, this is the sunward side of the telescope system that employs a stretched polyimide film (with membranes coated with aluminum on one side and silicon on the other) to shade the delicate, infrared-sensitive optics (not seen) from the Sun. This sunshield is 70 feet long by 47 feet wide, wider than a tennis court and nearly as long.

The OMP is approaching from the upper left while from this distance the Earth* appears slightly smaller than the Moon appears from the Earth's surface.

*In reality from the JWST's position, the Earth will be very close to the Sun's position but not eclipsing it, nevertheless all but impossible to see.

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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