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Space & Astronomy

James Webb Space Telescope completes tests

By T.K. Randall
January 11, 2018 · Comment icon 6 comments



The James Webb Space Telescope is set for launch in 2019. Image Credit: NASA
The next generation telescope will enable us to directly study the atmospheres of extrasolar planets.
The result of a long-running international collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency, the James Webb Space Telescope will provide scientists with an unprecedented view of the cosmos thanks to a resolution and sensitivity that is unrivalled by anything that has come before.

Its primary goals will be to image some of the first stars and galaxies to have formed after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, to better understand the formation of stars and planets and to study the origins of life in the universe.

It should even be able to provide clearer direct imaging of planets in orbit around distant stars.
Now NASA has revealed that the telescope has completed vacuum chamber testing in Houston and is on track for launch in 2019 if everything continues to go as planned.

The next phase will be to transport it to California where it will be united with its sun shield.

"After 15 years of planning, chamber refurbishment, hundreds of hours of risk-reduction testing, the dedication of more than 100 individuals through more than 90 days of testing, and surviving Hurricane Harvey, the OTIS cryogenic test has been an outstanding success," said project manager Bill Ochs.



Source: Space.com | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Herr Falukorv 5 years ago
Nice... I wonder how a picture on the moon would look like using a telescope like this..  
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
Sure hope the launch, final seperation, and whatever else goes OK.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
Not sure, but I think it's not designed to resolve "near objects" Focal length type of thing I guess. Same as if Hubble were pointed towards our Earth... very, very fuzzy images. Not sure about all that, though.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sundew 5 years ago
It would be a bummer if we find earth-like habitable planets because for the foreseeable future we can't get there.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Haroldbattschits 5 years ago
I hope it is up and working before I die. I'm 52 years old and I have a limit of 55. It will be soooooooo far away that if it doesn't work, it would take 10-20 years of planning to try to get it back, if it's even possible. They say not, but I imagine they wouldn't want to throw it all away either.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
On the moon or of the moon? It will be a fair distance from the moon and so images it took would be of a lower resolution than those taken by orbiting spacecraft. Placing it on the moon would make no difference to any image it took except for the Earth, as it will be just as far from the objects it will be imaging.   Hubble managed to image the Moon from Earth orbit back in 1999 (see here), so it would be capable of imaging the Earth from lunar orbit. The only problem could be the brightness of the Earth might overwhelm the detectors on Hubble.


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