NASA's Giant Golden Telescope Is Almost Done

By Monica U Santos , Nov 04, 2016 03:01 PM EDT

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the NASA's Giant Golden Telescope ever built. When it is started to fly into space it will be able to peer back in time 3.5 billion years. Now it stands, completed and almost ready to go to space, in a huge clean room at NASAasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

The James Webb Space Telescope, previously known as Next Generation Space Telescope, is a Flagship-class space observatory under construction and scheduled to launch in October 2018. Its capabilities will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology. One particular goal involves observing some of the most distant events and objects in the Universe, such as the formation of the first galaxies.

The telescope is 100 times more potent and three times bigger compared to its predecessor, the Hubble. And because of that, it has been nicknamed 'Super Hubble'.

"Thousands of people, for almost two decades, accomplished the construction of the telescope element of the largest space telescope ever created," said a new video, on Nasa Goddard's YouTube channel. "The optical and science segment of the James Webb Space Telescope stands complete in one of the largest cleanrooms in the world, located at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center."

Before the launch on 2018, the telescope is set to go through a sequence of tests to make sure it can stand up to the requirements during lift off and the cold conditions of space.

According to DailyMail, the tests will include shaking and noise tests to simulate launch conditions, and cryogenic tests to simulate the cold in space.

The main component of the telescope is the primary mirror, which consists of 18 hexagonal mirrors and looks like a completely combined giant puzzle piece. The massive golden mirror is made up of 18 components which will work together as one structure.

NASA is really looking forward to the giant golden telescope. Expect that the results of the tests will be released by NASA as well as the full capabilities of the JSWT.


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