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The new space telescope will likely be usable for longer than expected

small maneuvers

A spacecraft like Webb must regularly perform small maneuvers, for example to maintain a good orbit around the Earth. The more fuel left after launch, the more Webb can keep making these kinds of corrections.

Both the initial launch and patch maneuver that Webb performed shortly thereafter far exceeded expectations. This also allowed the telescope to deploy its solar cells earlier than expected.

The Webb telescope is now on its way to its final destination, a process that could take about a month. The first pictures are expected in the summer. Hubble is now thirty years old. Webb’s ancestor is expected to be out of orbit and burn up in the atmosphere in the next decade.