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James Webb is finally in the sky



The giant telescope is in the space



26.Dec.21 10:16 AM
By Abigail Richards
Photo NASA

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James Webb is finally in the sky
The rocket carrying the James Webb Space Telescope was launched as planned from a European launch site in French Guiana on Saturday.

The device allows scientists to look much further into the cosmos than before. The telescope should answer important questions from astronomers about the origin of the universe.

It takes a month to bring the telescope to its destination: the Lagrange Point 2. That is a place in the extension of the sun and Earth where the telescope can maintain a relatively fixed position.

If the launch is completely successful, the telescope - which is about the size of a tennis court - must unfold itself in space. "That's going to be the most complicated thing we've ever done," NASA engineer Mike Menzel said earlier about that process.

It is estimated that this will take a total of five months. First, the telescope still needs to cool down to be able to use the infrared camera. After that, the eighteen mirrors are moved so that they form one mirror of 6.5 meters.

The project has so far cost almost 10 billion dollars (8.8 billion euros) and has been in development for decades. So there is little room for error. The telescope is attached folded to the nose of the Ariane 5 rocket due to its size.

Only in more than half a year can we expect the first images from the Space Telescope. These are made with the infrared camera, which is used to capture light from stars and galaxies that were created just after the Big Bang.

The telescope can also examine what the atmosphere of planets outside our galaxy looks like. That is again important for finding any traces of life.

NASA expects the telescope to remain active for at least five years. If it appears that it still works well, the mission can be extended for another five years.

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which has been in development since 1996, was long awaited. The telescope is named after former NASA President James Webb.

Early in the development phase, the plan arose to bring the telescope to space in 2007, but the launch date was shifted several times due to technical problems and necessary adjustments.



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