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What's behind the choice of not designing the largest possible folding mirror for the James Webb space telescope, since something like a 13m diameter mirror could also fit in Ariane's fairing?

folding mirror

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    $\begingroup$ I suspect that the determining factor in the overall size of the Webb is not how big a mirror they could send up, but how large a sun-shield they could send up. I haven't been able to corroborate this, though. $\endgroup$ – Michael Seifert Apr 5 '17 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ A more complex folding mechanism is... more complex. As it is, the folding mechanism is one of the high-risk items with lots of mechanical actions that have to happen just right to get the telescope to work. Using 3x more folding mechanisms reduces reliability by a large factor. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Apr 5 '17 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ Mass, cost, complexity, pick any 3. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Apr 5 '17 at 20:37

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