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NASA’s next big observatory draws closer to ‘reaching the stars’ with the James Webb telescope

NASA has almost completed the environmental testing of the latest James Webb space telescope, which is designed to discover the utmost mysteries found in the universe.

According to NASA, the Webb telescope will soon be transported to its Johnson Space Centre, Houston, for back-to-back optical testing before being shipped to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in California. The final tests and assembly will be done there in preparation for its launch in 2018.

The Webb telescope team has verified that the equipment has successfully passed the optical system integration and testing after going through the rigorous environmental tests. According to NASA’s Webb telescope project manager, Bill Ochs, the results from the critical optical test in comparison to the pre-tested measurements show that the telescope is ready to undertake the next pace in reaching the stars.

The simulation

During the trial process, the optical engineers at Goddard tested the telescope in a simulated environment that was similar to that found in the space to guarantee that its functionality is not weakened by the scrupulous ride on a rocket in the deep space. Initially, before the environmental tests were done, the engineers designed an interferometer device to evaluate the shape of the telescope mirrors.

The purpose

The Webb Space Telescope is the most advanced space in the world developed to untangle the unusual mysteries found in the universe including the first stars and galaxies formed during the Big Bang and a collection of planets surrounding other stars. NASA is collaborating with the Canadian Space Agency to make this project a success.

The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the latest and large-scale NASA space devices that are underway. Other space instruments include the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope.

The space telescope instruments will assist the astronauts to study countless aspects in the universe and will enable the researchers to understand the strange force that is driving the spreading out of the universe. There are numerous proposals for space equipment that NASA should implement as its next major mission but these are determined by the National Academy of Science.