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Space & Astronomy

James Webb telescope passes milestone

By T.K. Randall
January 27, 2014 · Comment icon 8 comments

Engineers work on the telescope's hexagonal mirror segments. Image Credit: NASA / Drew Noel
The ambitious successor to the Hubble will be the most powerful space telescope ever created.
Having first been announced back in 1996, the road hasn't been an easy one for the project. Issues with funding almost saw the whole thing cancelled in 2011, but now a critical review milestone has opened the doors to its completion and launch by 2018.

"This is the last major element-level critical design review of the program," said NASA's Richard Lynch. "What that means is all of the designs are complete for the Webb and there are no major designs left to do."
Designed to be the successor to the existing Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, the James Webb Space Telescope will be optimized to observe the universe in infrared using a much larger mirror and orbiting at a greater distance that its predecessors.

Scientists hope to use the telescope to learn more about the formation of galaxies, planets and stars while peering further in to the depths of space than ever before.

Source: Red Orbit | Comments (8)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Xynoplas 11 years ago
It seems to be a radically (?) different design from other space telescopes such as the Hubble. It lacks a lens tube, and I guess that's so the mirrors can fold up for launch.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 years ago
It seems to be a radically (?) different design from other space telescopes such as the Hubble. It lacks a lens tube, and I guess that's so the mirrors can fold up for launch. There is no "lens tube" on Hubble either, it being a reflecting telescope not a refracting. Omission of the tube is not a radical design difference. Many amateur telescope also do not have tubes (see this wikipedia page on Dobsonian telescopes. Scroll down the page and you will see several instruments lacking a tube) and nor do large professional instruments (see the image of the 100 in Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson O... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Calibeliever 11 years ago
The Hubble was such a huge leap forward. I'm glad we're continuing to invest in projects like this and not resting on our laurels.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 11 years ago
Waiting so long on this project but it keeps me interested since it was announced. Cant wait to see this artwork operating in space. Thanks Hubble but u are too old dear friend.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 years ago
James Webb Space Telescope Deployment In DetailThis video shows in-depth what will happen when James Webb Space Telescope deploys after launch. For more information, see this deion on our website: http://jwst.nasa.gov/faq.html#howdeployThis video has no sound. It is current to January 2014.Credit: NASA/Northrop Grumman CorporationSource: NASA/JWST - Videos
Comment icon #6 Posted by atomk12 11 years ago
How long before our government takes it over and makes sure that we only see what they want seen?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Xynoplas 11 years ago
Having worked professionally a little bit at Loral, I'm a something of a satellite geek (and laser jock), so it's fascinating for me to see how they intend to deploy this. It really looks complicated and involved, but I am sure they will have all the kinks worked out by launch.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Calibeliever 11 years ago
This video shows in-depth what will happen when James Webb Space Telescope deploys after launch. For more information, see this deion on our website: http://jwst.nasa.gov....html#howdeploy This video has no sound. It is current to January 2014. Credit: NASA/Northrop Grumman Corporation Source: NASA/JWST - Videos Nice


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