Today on March 20 Google Doodle celebrates Spring Equinox 2019, a celestial event that marks as the beginning of spring in many cultures. Spring Equinox…
Do you imagine how big is the James Webb Space Telescope? If not, you may watch the photo below!
The image shows technicians inspecting membranes of Webb’s sun shield, apparently as part of an “acoustic test” designed to ensure that the telescope and its many subsystems can survive the rigors of launch a few years from now.
According to space.com “When the sun shield deploys upon Webb’s arrival at its deep-space destination — a gravitationally stable spot about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth — the shield will be about the size of a tennis court, mission team members have said”.
Telescope’s main mirror is 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) across, compared with 7.9 feet (2.4 m) for NASA’s iconic, Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA esteems the James Webb Space Telescope as Hubble’s successor. This complex telescope has an opportunity to realize different kinds of observations, such as studying some first stars of Universe, and galaxies to hunting for possible signs of life in the atmospheres of nearby exoplanets.
“The more we learn more about our universe, the more we realize that Webb is critical to answering questions we didn’t even know how to ask when the spacecraft was first designed,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Webb is poised to answer those questions, and is worth the wait. The valuable recommendations of the IRB support our efforts towards mission success; we expect spectacular scientific advances from NASA’s highest science priority.”
NASA had been targeting an October 2018 launch for Webb until relatively recently. But NASA has determined an exact launch date for James Webb Telescope; March 30, 2021. The agency previously had estimated an earlier launch date.
“Webb should continue based on its extraordinary scientific potential and critical role in maintaining U.S. leadership in astronomy and astrophysics,” said Tom Young, the chair of the review board.
Source: Speca.com, Forcetoknow.com
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