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Weekly Space Hangout

Jul 2, 2022

NOTE: Due to an unexpected production issue, our audio cuts out at 11:44 for just over one minute, and again at 13:51 for just over 15 seconds. We apologize for this.

Since JWST launched in December, 2022, we have been holding our collective breath as it made its way to its final home at the L2 Lagrange point. Throughout its approximate month-long journey, JWST systematically worked through a complicated series of deployment and commissioning procedures, including the all-critical focusing and alignment of the telescope's 18 primary mirror segments using 132 different actuator motors. On April 29, 2022, it was announced that focusing and alignment had completed successfully. Tonight, we are joined by Lee Feinberg, Optical Telescope Element (OTE) Manager for JWST, who will tell us what this exacting process truly entailed.

Lee Feinberg is the NASA Optical Telescope Element (OTE) Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a role he has been in since 2002. Earlier in his career, Lee was the Assistant Chief for Technology in the Instrument Systems and Technology Division at Goddard and prior to that Lee was part of the optical team that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope on SM1, STIS instrument manager on SM-2, and he co-led the concept study for Wide Field Camera-3.

Lee was a member of the LUVOIR and Habex Science and Technology Definition Teams and focuses his current research on ultra-stable telescopes and segmented space telescopes. Lee is a Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Fellow and a Goddard Space Flight Center Senior Fellow.

To learn more about Lee, visit his NASA webpage as well as this featured Conversations With Goddard interview

Lee explains the process of Webb's early alignment:

Seeing the Light | Lee Feinberg | TEDxUniversityofRochester:

Interview on Your Space Journey:

Finally, be sure to follow Lee on Twitter:

And of course, be sure to visit the JWST website to stay up to date with the latest news:


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