NASA released a great video for space junkies visually illustrating the scientific marvel that the James Webb Telescope is and will be. “Webb is a technological challenge like no other,” says a NASA spokesperson. “Born of the efforts of thousands of people across the United States, Canada and Europe. The James Webb Space Telescope is your telescope. Use it to explore. To challenge theories. To see sights yet unseen. It’s yours to unfold the beauty and mystery in the Universe, and our place in it.”
An Engineering Marvel. An Exploration Powerhouse.
This is your telescope. An engineering marvel. An exploration powerhouse. Use it to look back in time and explore the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang; to peer into atmospheres of planets orbiting the stars. It’s your eye-piece to the uncharted, unknown and unimagined. This is the largest, most complex and challenging space telescope ever constructed. It will change our understanding of the universe and our place in it. The James Webb Space Telescope.
Equipped With a Mirror 6 Times the Size of Hubble
Equipped with the largest primary mirror ever to be flown in space; at 6 and a half meters, it’s more than 6 times the size of the Hubble Space Telescope primary mirror. Webb’s four, cutting-edge, infrared instruments and cameras operate at super cold temperatures; temperatures colder than the surface of Pluto. Getting this cold is done with the help of the largest sunshield ever flown; a 5-layer, tennis court-size sunshield that blocks heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon.
Webb Could Help Us Find Life On Other Worlds
Webb will be the first telescope to detect light from the most distant galaxies in the Universe. These first galaxies formed about 13.5 billion years ago, only 300 or so million years after the Big Bang. Webb carries advanced technologies to tackle some of the most fundamental questions about the Universe. How did the first galaxies form and evolve? Are there chemical signatures of the building-blocks the life on other worlds? Is our solar system unique?
Launching Webb Is An Incredible Engineering Challenge
Launching such a large telescope into space is an incredible engineering challenge. Fully deployed, Webb is too large to fit inside any rocket fairing. Engineers designed it to be folded, like origami, to squeeze inside the European Space Agency’s 5-meter diameter, Ariane 5 rocket fairing.
Deployment Is An Intricate Ballet
After launch, controllers on the ground deploy Webb remotely. Deployment is an intricate ballet. For nearly 3-weeks, controllers carefully unfold Webb. After this delicate dance, Webb’s golden mirrors are precisely aligned using motors behind each hexagonal mirror segment, adjusting them to form one, perfect mirror. Once the instruments are cooled, the exploration will begin
Webb Is a Technological Challenge Like No Other
Webb is a technological challenge like no other. Born of the efforts of thousands of people across the United States, Canada and Europe. The James Webb Space Telescope is your telescope. Use it to explore. To challenge theories. To see sights yet unseen. It’s yours to unfold the beauty and mystery in the Universe, and our place in it.