The James Webb Space Telescope is a project NASA dreamed about since the year of 1996. This major telescope is going to enable a new range of investigations that were impossible before in the fields of cosmology and astronomy. Thanks to it, scientists will be able to witness the formation of the oldest events in the Galaxy. For instance, the James Web Telescope will be able to show them the Big Bang. After such lengthy efforts, the project is getting ready to enter the final stages.
The Upcoming Major Telescope Can Read from Orange to Mid-Infrared Light
More than 20 years ago, the European Space Agency, NASA, and the Canadian Space Agency conjoined their forces to start one of the most ambitious projects of the humankind. The result of their collaboration is the James Webb Space Telescope. The asset is as of recently in the latest milestones of its creation. Its capabilities are going to surpass those of any existent equipment such as Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope or Infrared Space Observatory.
The project of NASA’s flagship program employed the latest technology and blended it into a masterpiece. The major telescope is going to feature a 21 ft 4 in primary mirror segmented into smaller parts. By comparison, Hubble has only one mirror that is 7.9 ft. It will unravel a large array of possibilities thanks to its resolution that is sensitive to orange-red visible light, near-infrared, and mid-infrared light.
The Launch Is Scheduled for 2018
The major telescope is not intended to replace any of the existent equipment, yet it will play a complementary role especially for Hubble. The Webb Space Telescope will be released at the L2 point in 2018. For the time being, the equipment will have to pass one of its main tests. For 90 days, the telescope will prove its strength in a thermal vacuum chamber that has zero-gravity conditions. The same tests were applied to Apollo spacecraft as well.
This stage is critical for the development of the project. Any apparently insignificant issue might delay the progress of the major telescope for indefinite time. However, things are actually looking good. The Webb telescope has just successfully passed the acoustic and vibration tests at Goddard. This procedure was actually a simulation of the turbulence that the equipment will experience while in the rocket that will launch it into the orbit.
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