NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures the echo of supernova light
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is set to go through the next round of testing. He recently completed a one-hundred-day test in a vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Center.
( Chris Gunn / NASA )
The James Webb Space Telescope, a part of NASA's next large and strong space observatory, has just emerged from a giant thermal vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The JWST was removed last week after being inside the chamber for about 100 days since July, where it was tested at extremely cold temperatures, to see if it was prepared to face the frigid conditions of space.
The Most Powerful Space Telescope
The JWST will be the most powerful man-made space telescope. Orbit a million miles from the planet and allow researchers to observe the deepest corners of the universe and help them to know more about the primordial galaxies.
The space telescope has a primary mirror that is six times the size of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. With its extremely high resolution, JWST will have the ability to study the atmosphere of exoplanets. However, before it launches from French Guiana, the US space agency must ensure that the telescope can withstand the launch as well as the unfriendly space environment.
The JWST has already undergone vibratory and acoustic testing at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. , which simulated the conditions of the launched spacecraft carrying the telescope. The telescope will now head to Northrop Grumman, California, where it will undergo another round of testing before being released sometime in 2019.
The Northrop Grumman aerospace company is the main defense contractor that has been building the space telescope for NASA. The next phase of JWST development will see that its main mirror is connected to a sunscreen, which has been designed to prevent overheating. It is built with thin layers of Kapton, a material that will expand and clog the intense heat of the sun.
First scientific objectives of JWST
Once it is launched in 2019, the JSWT is expected to start sending results by the end of that year. The initial scientific objectives of the space telescope will include some of the oldest observable galaxies, exoplanets, supermbadive black holes at the centers of galaxies, as well as Jupiter and its moons.
The director of the Science Institute of the Space Telescope Ken Sembach chose 13 observations planned last month from more than 100 proposals submitted by global scientific teams to have the opportunity to be among the first users of JWST after its release.
"We were impressed by the high quality of the proposals received," said Sembach. "These observation programs will not only generate great science, but will also be a unique resource to demonstrate the research capabilities of this extraordinary observatory to the global scientific community."
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