James Webb telescope: Hubble successor set for yet more tests

Mar 31, 2017

By Jonathan Amos

Engineers are getting ready to box up the James Webb Space Telescope and send it to Houston, Texas.

The successor to Hubble, due for launch in 2018, is going to be put inside the giant thermal vacuum chamber where they tested the Apollo spaceships.

For 90 days, JWST will get a thorough check-up in the same airless, frigid conditions that will have to be endured when it eventually gets into orbit.

The telescope’s aim will be to find the first stars to shine in the Universe.

To achieve this goal, the observatory is being given an enormous mirror and instruments that are tuned to detect some of faintest objects on the sky.

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One comment on “James Webb telescope: Hubble successor set for yet more tests”

  • @OP – The successor to Hubble, due for launch in 2018, is going to be put inside the giant thermal vacuum chamber where they tested the Apollo spaceships.

    For 90 days, JWST will get a thorough check-up in the same airless, frigid conditions that will have to be endured when it eventually gets into orbit.

    The James Webb Telescope, must be thoroughly tested, as in an L2 orbit there will be no chance of a “patch-up” mission as there was for Hubble.

    https://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/webb-l2.html

    ‘L2’ Will be the James Webb Space Telescope’s Home in Space
    When you ask an astronomer about the James Webb Space Telescope’s orbit, they’ll tell you something that sounds like it came from a science-fiction novel.
    The Webb won’t be orbiting the Earth –instead we will send it almost a million miles out into space to a place called “L2.”

    L2 is short-hand for the second Lagrange Point, a wonderful accident of gravity and orbital mechanics, and the perfect place to park the Webb telescope in space. There are five so-called “Lagrange Points” – areas where gravity from the sun and Earth balance the orbital motion of a satellite. Putting a spacecraft at any of these points allows it to stay in a fixed position relative to the Earth and sun with a minimal amount of energy needed for course correction.



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