JWST: How Does a Folding Telescope Work?
Getting a 6.5-meter diameter telescope to fit inside an existing rocket fairing is quite a challenge, and when the telescope also requires cooling to 40K, a very complicated system is required. The James Webb Space Telescope builds on the heritage of both the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope to provide us with a capability far beyond anything that the first generations of infrared astronomers ever imagined. The instrument suite has been optimized to take advantage of the large, cold telescope. I will delve into the clever design choices that enable the promise of high sensitivity and exquisite spatial resolution at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths.