The world’s largest and most powerful space telescope successfully conducted critical pre-launch tests today, unfolding its giant golden lens on Earth for the last time. The $10 billion space telescope will be launched at the end of October this year.
The 6.5-meter-diameter lens of the new James Webb Space Telescope was fully deployed and positioned. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said this final test will ensure that the Webb Space Telescope can complete 1.6 million kilometers of space journey, ready to explore the origins of the universe.
It’s like building a Swiss watch at 40 feet (12 meters) high so it can handle the trip into the vacuum of minus 240 degrees Celsius, four times farther than the moon,” said Scott Willoughby of Northrop Grumman, the prime contractor. “
The Webb Space Telescope will be shipped from Northrop Grumman’s spaceport in Redondo Beach, California, to French Guiana for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket (Ariane 5), which NASA aims to launch on October 31.
The Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror consists of 18 hexagonal lenses with an ultra-thin gold coating to improve infrared reflections.
To place the 6.5-meter diameter Webb Space Telescope into the 5-meter diameter rocket fairing, 132 individual actuators and motors will be used to adjust each lens to a specific position. The Webb Space Telescope will then fly into space as if it were an origami piece.
Together, these lenses will form a giant reflector, allowing Webb to explore deeper into the universe than previous space telescopes.
Scientists hope to use the Webb space telescope back to more than 13.5 billion years ago, the first observation of the first forming stars and galaxies millions of years after the Big Bang. To achieve this, scientists must detect infrared light, and the current best Hubble Space Telescope, infrared detection capabilities are limited.
Scientists from 44 countries will be able to use the Webb Space Telescope, including the use of infrared detection capabilities, deep into the center of galaxies of super large black holes, these galaxies, including the Earth’s galaxy.
Webb Space Telescope program scientists Smith (Eric Smith) said: “Only our own imagination will limit the Webb Space Telescope’s ability to explore, scientists around the world will soon be able to use this universal astronomical telescope, leading us to visit places we never dreamed of going.”