NASA’s Webb Telescope: What is it and What Does it do?

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    NASA’s Webb Telescope, named after the agency’s second administrator, James Webb, will be an enormous telescope designed to observe the first galaxies formed in the universe and detect possibly habitable planets orbiting distant stars. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be the most powerful space telescope ever built and it will revolutionize our understanding of the universe. Here’s what you need to know about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and what it means for astronomers and science enthusiasts everywhere.

    Everything you need to know about the space telescope

    The Webb will be a long-range space telescope designed to observe infrared wavelengths. The goal of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is to revolutionize our understanding of star and planet formation, how galaxies evolved, and more. In March 2014, the ground was broken on the construction of the telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

    How this Webb telescope is different from others?

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large, next-generation space telescope whose development was managed by NASA, with significant contributions from its international partners. It is originally conceived as a more technologically successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), but budgetary constraints led to its evolving into an observatory with far-reaching technical capabilities that allowed many aspects of astronomy to be addressed without having to construct special-purpose hardware. JWST is planned for launch in 2018.

    How much money was spent on the Webb Telescope?

    The total cost of building, launching, and operating Webb will be about $10 billion. Half of that cost has been contributed by NASA. The other half has come from about 16 international partners—including Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and from individual states in the United States.

    What does it look like up close?

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has three main parts. The first part is a segmented 6.5-meter primary mirror that collects light from objects in space. If you walk up to the Webb telescope, it would be so big that you couldn’t see past yourself without turning around! The second part of JWST is its sun shield, which keeps heat from Earth out of its delicate instruments.

    How long will the building process take for this new telescope?

    A team of engineers was constructing a successor to Old Hubble Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md Since 2014. NASA anticipates launching what will be known as Webb in October 2018. The telescope goes through six months of testing before officially taking its place in space by 2019. It will use a variety of tools to study exoplanets and search for evidence of alien life.

    Why Hubble Telescope decommissioned in 2018 despite being launched in 1990?

    After a quarter-century of service, NASA’s space telescope launched in 1990 and was decommissioned in 2018. Why is it took so long to shut down Hubble Telescope after such a long tenure in space? It all comes down to money.

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