The James Webb Space Telescope is Finally Complete

Thursday, 03 November 2016 - 7:37PM
Space
Astrophysics
NASA
Thursday, 03 November 2016 - 7:37PM
The James Webb Space Telescope is Finally Complete
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was conceptualized two decades ago and has faced setbacks that have changed it's estimated launch from 2011 to 2014 and now, to 2018. Despite its lengthy gestation period, however, the JWST is finally complete and is expected to meet it's newest estimated launch date in 2018. The news was first broke by astrophysicist John Mather at a news conference at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland yesterday.  

Opening quote
Today, we're celebrating the fact that our telescope is finished, and we're about to prove that it works…We've done two decades of innovation and hard work, and this is the result - we're opening up a whole new territory of astronomy.
Closing quote


Essentially the replacement for the Hubble (though with a view 100 times larger) the JWST has always been looked at as an absolutely monumental, revolutionary undertaking, and is expected to expand mankind's knowledge of the cosmos exponentially. Capable of seeing 13.5 billion years into the universe's past, the JWST has the ability to zero in on objects in the solar system (such as the proposed planet nine), and to sniff out the atmospheres of exoplanets light years away. Astronomical discoveries are expected to boom in 2018, and those expectations are all based on the launch of the JWST.



The telescope, a combined effort of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, is currently undergoing testing at Goddard for launch viability, and will afterward be shipped to Texas for additional testing before moving to California, where it will be assembled for the final time. When the JWST is finally launched on the Ariane 5 rocket, it will be positioned at a spot directly behind the Earth from the Sun's perspective dubbed Lagrange Point 2. If everything goes according to plan, the JWST should be in orbit by 2018.
Science
Technology
Space
Astrophysics
NASA