Elon Musk REVEALED This About The James Webb Telescope: After multiple blunders on NASA’s part, causing the telescope to be under construction for nearly 30 years, this telescope was finally launched in December 2021. So, what did the SpaceX founder have to say about this launch? What were the reasons for the delay of this telescope? How much did the construction cost? And can the James Webb hunt life beyond Earth?
Stick around till the end as we tell you all about this journey. Many people are watching the James Webb Space Telescope, and it has just sparked a response from tech billionaire Elon Musk. The telescope is named after James Webb, the man who led NASA in the decade leading up to the moon landing.
The technological achievement of NASA’s newest telescope cannot be overstated. It has the potential to continue Hubble’s telescope work. Webb outperforms Hubble in two crucial areas. The first is its sheer immensity. Hubble was about the size of a bus, whereas Webb is around the size of a tennis court.
Webb is the most powerful telescope NASA has ever attempted to deploy into orbit. But it’s not just about the apparatus’s overall size. When it comes to reflective telescopes, the curved mirror’s size is critical. Hubble’s spacecraft had a mirror that was 7.8 feet in diameter.
Webb’s beautiful gold-hued mirrors are 21.3 feet in diameter. That’s more than six times the amount of light-gathering area. Webb will allow astronomers to see so far back in time that they may be able to recognize the first stars and galaxies.
Hubble has discovered 400 million-year-old light from the Big Bang, which took 13.3 billion years to reach us. The type of light that the Webb captures is another feature. There are numerous sorts of light.
Although the human eye can only detect a restricted spectrum of light known as visible light, the cosmos contains a large amount of light outside of this range, including ultraviolet and gamma rays, which have a higher frequency and energy than visible light.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s most powerful and complicated observatory ever built, is on the verge of unveiling the universe’s greatest mysteries, and anticipations are at an all-time high.
Launched on December 2021, the Webb telescope has many eyes glued to it. Elon Musk called it a “big deal” in response to a BBC Twitter piece that revealed Webb’s aims of searching for the “end of darkness.” So, why is this telescope a big deal? Well, there are several reasons for it.
The first one was the delay in its construction and the billions of dollars spent in building it. If everything had gone according to plan, the world’s most powerful space telescope would have been in orbit by 2018. It would be tens of millions of miles away from Earth by now, staring deep into the universe and sending back breathtaking photographs of sparkling stars and galaxies.
Instead, it sat at a California factory until a few months ago, waiting for more funding so that engineers could complete the project. NASA’s largest astronomy project, the James Webb Space Telescope, had been in the works for more than two decades.
Scientists projected it would cost $500 million and fly by 2007 when the concept was first proposed in 1996 as a successor to the iconic Hubble Space Telescope. However, as scientists worked on the telescope s design, the world around them began to shift.
Astronomers were making amazing discoveries about the universe, and engineers developed the technology to analyze it. Webb’s stewards thought the telescope could perform more than it had been designed to do, so they increased its capabilities.
As the mission’s scope expanded over the years, so did the cost. Webb had an $8.8 billion price tag and a spring 2019 launch date at the start of 2018. Officials estimated that the telescope’s overall lifetime cost including construction, deployment, and five years of operation would be $9.66 billion instead of $8.8 billion.
These figures meant Webb had exceeded a ceiling set by Congress in 2011 when lawmakers first expressed concerns about the mission’s rising expenditures. For the Webb to launch, Congress had to release an extra $800 Million, more than the overall cost planned in 1996.
Next up is the fact that Webb will be over a million miles away, four times the Earth-Moon distance, which elevates the stakes. Hubble was propelled into space at a height of around 340 miles above the Earth’s surface. It would be far away for a good cause. Because Webb is an infrared telescope, it must be kept cool. The Earth emits infrared light because it is heated.
The Webb will be centered around a Lagrange point. This is an area of space where the telescope can keep cool while striving to align with the Earth as it orbits the Sun. Surprisingly, any scientist from anywhere on the planet can seek to use the Webb Space Telescope if they submit a peer-reviewed study proposal. However, it’s a difficult nut to crack.
On Christmas Eve 2021, NASA launched the James Webb telescope from French Guiana. After a 27-minute hypersonic ride into space, the 14,000-pound sensor was blasted from the top stage of the French-built rocket around 865 miles above the Earth and gradually expanded to the size of a tennis court over the next 13 days as it drifted on its own.
After launch, the Webb glided away smoothly, as seen on live footage from a camera attached to the rocket’s upper stage, sparking yells and applauding from delighted mission control engineers. Flight controllers verified that Webb’s solar-energy array was working as it was deployed.
The Webb telescope is now on its way to a million-kilometer distance from Earth. While on its journey, the telescope must perform a difficult mechanical maneuver known as self-assembly. Because of its size, the telescope had to be launched folded-up inside a rocket.
Over several weeks, it must unfurl its various components, from its mirrors to its sunshield. The telescope was initially expected to be operational for 5 to 10 years, but NASA’s current research suggests that it may be able to continue scientific operations for much longer.
According to NASA, the extra fuel is owing to the precision of the Ariane 5 rocket that carried the telescope into space. It’s also due to the precision with which the first and second mid-course corrective procedures were carried out. According to NASA, the accuracy of these modifications leaves the spacecraft with more fuel to maintain its ultimate position for researching the cosmos.
However, the space agency warns that JWST’s long-term viability may be hampered by several factors. According to Nasa, the Hubble Telescope was expected to last 15 years, yet it’s still going strong after more than 30. However, one significant difference between the two is that astronauts can repair the Hubble, whereas they can’t reach the JWST. Hang on a second, viewers.
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The four main instruments in the James Webb Space Telescope have been turned on by NASA flight controllers as they prepare to take the first photos of a target star that will be used to position the observatory’s 18-segment main mirror.
Meanwhile, with the Webb satellite observatory’s commissioning underway, astronomers are looking forward to a future of incredible astronomy with the massive space telescope. Louis-Philippe Coulombe, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Montreal, wrote that he is excited to see how Webb can assist in mapping the atmospheres of exoplanets, something this particular observatory should do better than any other space telescope to date.
Overall, the Webb is on the right path, and its trajectory is going as per plan. While the stakes may be high, and of course, the fact that billions of dollars are riding on this mission makes the stakes even higher, NASA is well prepared for this mission and is ensuring that everything stays on track with the James Webb telescope. What do you think of this mission?
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