James Webb Telescope

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James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is all set to take off on 24 December.

  • The JWST was supposed to be sent deep into space in 2007. The project kept getting delayed and now it’s latest launch date has been pushed to 24 December.
  • Successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST’s the most powerful and technically challenging space telescope ever built, with a price tag of $10 billion and 20 years to build it.
  • JWST’s mission is to find out the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang, to look into the planets that are orbitting other stars. Even chemical signatures of life forms elsewhere.
  • JWST has to be folded into an origami-like structure to fit on the Ariane-5 rocket. Once in space, unfolding and starting off scientific work is a process that will take 6 months.
  • JWST is a collaboratin of NASA, European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Given the technology involved, there’s a lot riding on ensuring there’s no scope for error.
  • Unlike its predecessor, the Hubble Telescope, the JWST has been built to detect infrared light which will allow it to see faint galaxies which are billions of light years away.
  • There are over 300 points of failure that put the entire JWST project into jeopardy and could blow up $10 billion for nothing.
The New York Times
The Atlantic
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5 articles on this topic


James Webb: Weather shifts telescope launch to 25 December

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The Conversation

James Webb Space Telescope: An astronomer on the team explains how to send a giant telescope to space – and why

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There are over 300 ways that the new James Webb Space Telescope could fail, NASA says

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The Atlantic

Who Would Kidnap a Space Telescope?

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