5 things to know about the largest and most sophisticated Webb Space Telescope ever built

Days before the launch of the James-Webb Space Telescope, Futura invites you to return to five highlights or anecdotes that punctuated the design of the new ESA and NASA device.

launch of Telescope Spatial James-Webb December 14th is fast approaching, despite another postponement announced by ESA and NASA. The new flagship of space observation, must fly 24 December From Kourou Base in Guyana. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), indicated as the successor ofHubble, is also a real fund To the record: Huge budget, design extended over several decades, many delays to its credit… Take a look at five key facts that forged the reputation of one of the most ambitious projects of the past 30 years.

1. A project developed over 25 years

is twenty five Duration Between the first draft of the James-Webb telescope and its launch in late 2021. JWST’s adventure began in 1996 under another name: next generation space telescope (New Generation Space Telescope). NASA decided to launch Construction A low-cost, $500 million space telescope. next generation space telescope Already envisioned as the spiritual successor to Hubble, Launched in 1990, Very quickly, delays will add up, making launch dates slippery from 2000 to 2010, then finally to 2021. NASA postponements and the scale of the project will rapidly explode the initial budget.

2. A $10 Billion Telescope

With James-Webb, NASA wants to build an innovative space telescope, efficient but at a low cost. Thus the administration limits the initial budget at $500 million. In 1998, two years after the first draft of next generation space telescope, first delay To increase the budget allocated for the project. The design of JWST thus reached $1 billion. In parallel with technological advances and the many delays experienced by Western space agencies, this figure will continue to rise. Ultimately, JWST’s development will cost a staggering $10 billion, or 20 times its initial planned amount.

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3. 1.5 million kilometres. go to

After take-off on December 24 (subject to launch without delay), the James-Webb telescope will travel 29 days in the direction of its objective: Pointe de Lagrange L2, The latter is located 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth soleil, will provide JWST with an optimal position to carry out its observation mission. Lagrange point L2 is indeed an ideal region of space for deep sky observation, allowing permanent communication with terrestrial control stations as well as power supplies. energy Thanks for the sunlight.

4. James-Webb Space Telescope is also the largest

Not surprisingly, the dimensions of the JWST are up to project scale, Thus the weight of the device is 6,500 . Is Kilogram, with a primary mirror with a diameter of 6.5 m and a sun visor of 22 x 12 m the size of a tennis court. For comparison, the diameter of Hubble’s primary mirror is “only” 2.4 meters in diameter. gigantism James-Webb has scientific utility, and will make it possible to store more Glow distant stars will provide more Resolution More accurate celestial bodies were observed.

5. JWST will see 100 million years after the Big Bang

James Webb Space Telescope have a chance to see a wide range of celestial objects, While some visible bodies like planets Solar system To be pictured, the new space telescope has priority targets galaxies oldest ofuniverse, which appeared only after 100 million years big Bang, 14 billion years ago. Must be allowed to look into the ‘past’ so far astronomers And astronomy To learn more about the creation of the universe, first Stars and the Galactic System. To date, Hubble and . a combined overview of Spitzer allowed us to go back to the Milky Way that arose 400 million years after the Big Bang.

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The James-Webb Telescope will launch on December 24, 2021 at 1:20 p.m. PST.

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