back to article Almost there: James Webb Space Telescope frees its mirrors and prepares for insertion

NASA scientists have deployed mirrors on the James Webb Space Telescope ahead of a critical thruster firing on Monday. With less than 50,000km to go until the spacecraft reaches its L2 orbit, the segments that make up the primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are ready for alignment. The team carefully moved …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Indubitably

    JWST unfolding correctly is proof we are living in the Matrix

  2. Brian 3

    SO TRASHY

    I would expect that NASA at least would have the self respect to give an approximate measurement, "half a paperclip"?? Bunch of hokey jokers is what is makes them sound like. No wonder they have conversion problems, with units like these in use! What KIND of paperclip, for starters?!

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: SO TRASHY

      NASA is speaking for public consumption and half a paperclip can be visualized and comprehended by the public.I would guess that the final alignment announcement will include a reference to a fraction of a human hair.

      Going through months of testing of the actuators and then months of final alignment is part of what makes NASA NASA.

      Pints for the boffins, again.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: SO TRASHY

        Length, width or thickness of a paperclip??!!

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: SO TRASHY

          How many paperclips are there in a standard Welsh Brontosaur's Olympic-sized swimming pool?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: SO TRASHY

            Hang on while I visualise this.....one...two....threeeeee.....lots!

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: SO TRASHY

              Troll. ;)

              1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: SO TRASHY

                The use of 'Lots' suggests a posh Troll.

                Regular Trolls use One .... Two .... Three .... Many!

        2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: SO TRASHY

          And is that when measured at atmospheric pressure or in the (almost) vacuum of space?

          At relativistic speeds?

          It's important to have absolute precision on such approximate measurements.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: SO TRASHY

      "Bunch of hokey jokers is what is makes them sound like."

      Looked at in another way - it's an addition el Reg unit of measurement lexicon.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: SO TRASHY

      Paperclip? Oh no!

      "You seem to be trying to align a mirror, do you want me to help?"

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: SO TRASHY

        Please god tell me there is NO Microsoft code on there.

    4. Grunchy Bronze badge

      Re: SO TRASHY

      I think they said 12.5 mm is the length of 1/2 paperclip (being NASA that’s probably 1.00/2.00 paperclip standard lengths). I haven’t ejected a floppy from a Mac in so long, I don’t even know where all the paperclips wound up to even confirm their figures!

  3. Paul Herber Silver badge

    12.5mm?

    Does NASA employ someone by the name of Arthur Ninch?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I recently had reason to convert Kg to Stones and pounds. So I type the question into Google and the first result from a US website proudly announced the answer was 12.867453 stones!!!! FFS, no wonder they have problems :-)

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        If you have to convert Kg to Stones and pounds then it's you who owns the problem.

      2. nrasmussen

        kelvin gram?

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          He is no longer a user of this forum.

      3. General Purpose Silver badge

        Why would you expect a US website to convert to the unfamiliar British usage of stones-and-pounds? It's good of them to convert to stones at all, what with the stone being an imperial unit that isn't part of the US system.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          With that comment I'm outing you: you are definitely not a brexiter.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          It was the first result on google.co.uk. Other results were more local and correct.

        3. ravenviz Silver badge

          I suspect Google do things that are good *for* them, rather than just being nice!

      4. Annihilator Silver badge

        Similarly, Apple allows you to select stone as your weight measurement on the health app (haven’t checked but possible even defaults to that in British mode). But if you need to enter 15st 3lbs (no reason, why do you ask?), you need to put 15.21

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

      7. Colin Bull 1

        Lightweight !

    2. ITMA Bronze badge

      Yes they do.

      He sits at the desk next to A. Smidgen......

      1. TRT Silver badge

        I thought he shared an office with Newton Fahrenheit?

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          I thought Newton Farenheit was the next stop after Cocker Hill.

          1. ravenviz Silver badge

            Mornington Crescent!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please strip the tracking from the links you publish.

    The Twatter links you published have about a mile of tracking data attached after the actual URL. It would be nice if you stripped the "?" and everything following before you publish such a link because that's no longer the URL but data - tracking data.

    OK?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Please strip the tracking from the links you publish.

      Whilst I am in 100% agreement, you can also do this yourself with a link-cleaning browser extension such as ClearURLs

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please strip the tracking from the links you publish.

        Amazing add on! It joins ublock, httpseverywhere, duckduckgo and privacy badger in my browser :D

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Please strip the tracking from the links you publish.

        "browser extension such as ClearURLs"

        Ooooh, thanks. Installed and running now :-)

        1. Sleep deprived
          Thumb Down

          Re: Please strip the tracking from the links you publish.

          Unfortunately, the geniuses at Mozilla no longer allow this extension for Firefox for Android.

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "half the length of a paper clip"

    NASA clearly needs to subcontract The Register for its standard units

  6. niio

    So NASA lost the Mars Climate Orbiter because of a paperclip?

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge
      Boffin

      Sounds like the bureaucratic equivalent of "for want of a nail..."

      1. ITMA Bronze badge

        Just think of the cost im guineas! Shocking!

  7. PhilipN

    Well done, chaps

    And proof positive with travel restrictions and WFH we do not necessarily need physically to GO somewhere to achieve something.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Well done, chaps

      Ice skating might be a bit difficult with that attitude…

  8. Mr. V. Meldrew
    Go

    One word.....

    ...... Amazing!

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: One word.....

      Craig Revel Horwood? Is that you? Didn't think this site would be your thing!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: One word.....

        Gregg Wallace.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One word..... Gregg Wallace.

          Am now imagining Gregg Wallace doing an "Inside the Space Telescope Factor" episode...

          1. Paul Herber Silver badge

            Re: One word..... Gregg Wallace.

            Crackin' telescope, Gromit.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "attention can turn to adjustments in the micron and nanometer ranges in order get the telescope properly aligned"

    Stop it! You're doing my head in. Micron adjustments in microscope focussing - fine (literally fine, that's what the fine focussing know is for) but nanometre adjustments on a telescope...

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Oh, just the odd fraction of a wavelength of light, here and there...

    2. Annihilator Silver badge
      Boffin

      They have clearly learned some valuable lessons from Hubble…

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        And spent thirty years *not* forgetting them!

  10. msobkow Silver badge

    This whole shebang has gone so well for the JWST that it blows me away. So much complexity, so much planning, so many dependencies - and it worked!

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Big Brother

      We haven't got the images yet!

      1. ricardian

        https://ifunny.co/picture/madeforgeeks-first-picture-from-the-james-webb-space-telescope-0iwbCtNC9

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Happy

          Cruel, but...

          1. VicMortimer

            Fake!

            Here's the real one: https://i.redd.it/enppk11y8y781.jpg

  11. Miss Config
    Stop

    Pounds ( No Stones)

    FYI : Americans are unaware of the weight known in Britain as a stone.

    eg. they would give the weight of somebody such as a boxer ENTIRELY in pounds.

    ( I tried, twice, to post this as a reply to the relevant post.

    Each time Reg put it it in the WRONG place. )

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

      Historically pounds are a more basic unit than stones which might have been more local standards. From a C18th diary: "I was weighed there and weighed 11 stone and 1 lb—15 lbs to the Stone. I was weighed at Banks woodmill several years since and weighed 11 stone 14 lbs"

      Pounds, of course, are good hexadecimal units - none of this decimal malarky. What we need to do the job right is a 16lb stone.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

        It's always weird when US gives the mass of something enormous in pounds - like a Saturn V weighing 6.5 million pounds.

        What's that in Hundredweight ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

          To know that, we'd have to know how much the weight weighs, and then translate pounds to a hundred of those, assuming it's not some Britishism misuse of 'hundred' like y'all do sometimes.

          An American will more readily understand weights in kilograms than in whatever silliness stones and hundredweights are. We don't use them, we have absolutely no clue how much they weigh without googling.

          1. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge
            Happy

            Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

            >>nd then translate pounds to a hundred of those,

            See now thats a typical "left pond" assumption - there are 112 lbs in a cwt not 100...

        2. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge
          Coat

          Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

          well, duh, divide by 112 for cwt and 2240 for tons... 58,035 and a bit cwt or about 2902 tons (uk)

          Septics use short tons (2000lbs) which puts us in the odd position where a metric tonne is closer to a real ton than an American customary units ton....

          Which situation is, of course, why everyone should use El Reg units cos they are the best.

      2. slimshady76
        WTF?

        Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

        While we are at it, why are pounds abbreviated as lbs?

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

          Its from the french word for pounds I believe

          In any case why do the yanks use something like "this weighs 2 million 500 000 lbs when we have things like tons, elephants, or london buses to use as measurements.

          1. RadioEngineer

            Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

            I have a windows program (I forget where I got it) that not only converts miles per hour to kilometres per hour but also converts miles per hour to furlongs per fortnight - most useful...

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

              A proper British furlong or an American one ?

            2. Paul Herber Silver badge

              Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

              You've heard of CGS, MKS as systems of units. Welcome to FFS. Furlong-Fortnight-Stone.

        2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

          It's an abbreviation of the latin libra, for scale or balance. The latin pound was called a libra pondo. Came to us first via a borrowing into proto-german rather than French, which is why pounds and ounces (libra pondo et unciae) as units of weight predate the Norman invasion.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Well there's a thing

    I see the good commentards here are dissecting El Reg's report with the usual precision!

    Oh, and it seems NASA's calculations are not a micro-thou out.

  13. swm Silver badge

    https://www.decisionproblem.com/paperclips/

  14. aks

    L2 Orbit versus second Langrange Point

    The article's mention of the L2 Orbit made me wonder if orbit is the correct term. That goes of all of the Lagrange points.

    L2, the second Lagrangian Point

    https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Herschel/L2_the_second_Lagrangian_Point

    I wonder just how much stuff congregates at each of the points.

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