It is no news that NASA spends a lot to develop equipment, rockets, satellites and other things, so it would not be surprising to know that NASA is spending about $10 billion on a telescope. You heard me right a telescope, but not like the conventional telescope that we have currently. There have been the urge to see other planetary bodies, study the history of the universe ranging from the first luminous glow after the big bang, to how the solar system was formed, why earth was able to support life and the evolution in the solar system and recent telescopes cannot give answers to this and this which lead to the invention of the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope).
Formally known as the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) but renamed in September 2002, the telescope is going to be a large infrared telescope with 6.5 meter, 18 hexagonal primary mirror made of gold-plated beryllium. The James Webb Space Telescope is different from NASA’s Hubble space telescope since Hubble space telescope serves as a giant orbital space eyeball delivering pictures of uwavelengths of light in space but with JWST, observation will be done entirely in the infrared using near-infrared astronomy
The telescope will be lunched on an Ariane 5 rocket in the year 2021 from French Guiana, it will be placed 1 million miles from earth. The James Webb Space Technology is designed to be shielded from light and heat of the sun, earth and moon keeping the temperature under -220°Cin other to make observation using the infrared spectrum.
If the telescope is lunched successfully into space, the first view will be the targeted at early universe, history of our cosmos from a few hundred million years, the first stars and galaxies to appear on the cosmic. The telescope is designed to look as back as 13.4 billion years in time. The telescope is made up of four major instruments which are the cameras, spectrometers, cryocooler and NIRSpec (Near Infrared Spectrograph). The cameras and spectrometers are used to detect and record extremely faint signals, the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) which is able to operate at a wavelength of above 0.6 to 5 microns will enable the observation of up to 100 object at the same time, and the cryocooler which cools the mid-infrared detector so they can work perfectly.
This isn’t just a telescope, it is a powerful observatory that will change the scope of science, space and technology. The James Webb Space Telescope is the most ambitious and complex astronomical project currently. The JWST will be observing using the infrared to view clearer and tiny bodies in the universe. The Telescope is scheduled to be lunched to space in 2021.
Is the potential benefit of James Webb Space Telescope worth the investment?