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NASA telescope takes off to discover early space history

It is hoped that we will beam back new clues that will help scientists better understand the origins of planets such as the universe and Earth beyond our solar system.

The James Webb Space Telescope features infrared vision that allows you to look deeper into the universe, down to the first stars and galaxies. (AP)

The world’s most powerful space telescope is set to explode towards an outpost 1.5 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from Earth after some delays due to technical issues.

The James Webb Space Telescope will spend billions of dollars for almost 30 years to keep the Earth trapped in the Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana.

The launch, scheduled for a short time frame after 9:20 am (Greenwich Mean Time 1220) on Saturday, will send the telescope into remote orbit on a one-month journey.

This combination of images provided by NASA shows an illustration of the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope orbiting the Earth. With NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope of the European Space Agency pushing for 32 years in orbit, the Webb, which is large and 100 times more powerful, is widely seen as a successor, even if the two are very different.

This combination of images provided by NASA shows an illustration of the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope orbiting the Earth. With NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope of the European Space Agency pushing for 32 years in orbit, the Webb, which is large and 100 times more powerful, is widely seen as a successor, even if the two are very different. (AP)

Named after a former NASA director, Webb follows in the footsteps of the legendary Hubble, but aims to show humans how the universe was nearing its birth nearly 14 billion years ago.

Speaking on social media, John Mather, co-founder of the Webb project, described the unprecedented sensitivity of telescopes.

“#JWST can see signs of bumblebee fever at lunar distance,” he said.

All that power is needed to detect the weak glow emitted by the first galaxies that existed billions of years ago and the first stars formed.

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“Exceptional measures”

Telescopes are unmatched in size and complexity.

The mirror is 6.5 meters (21 feet) in diameter, three times the size of Hubble’s mirror, and consists of 18 hexagonal sections.

It’s big enough to fold to fit in a rocket.

The operation was laser guided by NASA and imposed strict isolation measures to limit contact with the telescope mirror from particles and human breathing.

When the rocket carries the web 120 kilometers, the aircraft’s protective nose, called the “fairing,” is removed and the load is reduced.

To protect sensitive equipment from pressure changes at that stage, Rocket Builder’s Arianespace has installed a custom decompression system.

“Exceptional measures for exceptional customers,” said a European Space Agency official at Cooloo Thursday.

The ground crew can know if the first phase of the flight was successful about 27 minutes after the launch.

Upon arriving at the station, the challenge is to fully deploy the mirror and tennis court-sized sunshield.

The horribly complex process takes two weeks and must be perfect for Webb to work properly.

Its orbit is much farther than Hubble, which has been 600 kilometers above Earth since 1990.

The position of the web’s orbit is called the Lagrange 2 point and was chosen to keep the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon all on the same side of the Sun’s shield.

Webb will officially launch in June.

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Source: AFP

https://www.trtworld.com/life/nasa-telescope-takes-off-to-discover-early-cosmic-history-52992?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss NASA telescope takes off to discover early space history

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