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January 05, 2022

Webb Telescope Successfully Unfurls Solar Shields

Telescope is Through the Woods with 75% of its Failure Points Behind it

NASA's latest update on its groundbreaking Webb Telescope has cleared more than three fourths of the spacecraft's 344 single points of failure. The multi-layered sunshield has been successfully deployed without issue, says the agency. The occasion marks the end of the majority of the Webb mission's nail-biters, with most deployment operations much safer as the focusing mirror moves itself into its primary configuration. NASA's enthusiasm for the project is palpable, for good reason. The telescope represents what's likely the most demanding, technologically advanced mission in decades, integrating the expertise of every bit of the agency's best minds.

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Naval Research Lab Images Sunbound Comet

Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Sends Back Photography 

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory released a small Christmas gift to space enthusiasts in late December, when they released some of the preliminary data sent to Earth from the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter. The comet's passage closer to the sun could see it disintegrate or swing back around into interstellar space once again. The sun-bound comet Leonard passed within view of the Heliospheric Imager, allowing it to record its momentary passage. It managed to be observed by the Parker Solar Probe and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, who both began their own analysis from separate locations during its flight.

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Blue Origin Added to TRANSCOM Cargo Roster

Joins Fellow Commercial Rocketeers XArc, SpaceX in Rocket-Based Cargo/Personnel Delivery

Blue Origin signed a cooperative agreement with the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), joining a program to explore its capability for military transportation. The deal signed sets out cooperative responsibilities and research duties between the two organizations, similar to deals with space launch rivals SpaceX and XArc. The Command is the standard bearer for all cargo and personnel movement throughout the U.S. Military, allowing a unified command to transport over land and sea, through the air, and soon, through space. 

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