The stage is set for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. The US space agency NASA has developed the observatory. Astronomers are hopeful that the James Webb Space Telescope will open a new era of discovery. NASA has announced that the telescope will be launched on December 18. NASA has spent USD 10 billion to develop the telescope. It will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope. The James Webb Space Telescope is bigger than the Hubble. The Hubble telescope was launched in 1990. It operates in low Earth orbit. It has provided spectacular views of the cosmos since then and helped in solving space mysteries. NASA has described it as the world’s most complex space telescope.
The James Webb Space Telescope is a joint project by NASA, ESA, and CSA. The telescope will be shipped from California to Europe’s French Guiana. It will lift off aboard Ariane 5 rocket. The observatory is touted to be the most powerful space telescope ever developed. It can look back in time. According to NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope can see the first stars. It can detect infrared. The Hubble telescope also can detect infrared but to a limited extent. Astronomers believe that the James Webb Space Telescope will open new avenues of investigation for scientists to understand the Universe and search for alien worlds.
The James Webb Space Telescope completed its final tests in August. NASA had earlier targeted to launch it in March 2021. It pushed the date to October and later to December. The US space agency said that the dates were postponed due to the pandemic. NASA said that the telescope will be a major turning point in humans’ science journey to understand the Universe and its origin. The telescope will not operate in low Earth orbit just like the Hubble. It will travel for a month to reach its orbital location in space. The location is approximately one million miles away from Earth. It will start scientific operations around six months after launch.