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posted by requerdanos on Sunday August 29 2021, @06:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the almost-ready-now dept.

The James Webb Space Telescope, NASA's next great observatory, passes final ground tests:

NASA and its partners working on the James Webb Space Telescope have completed their final tests of the giant observatory and are now preparing it for a trip to a South American spaceport for a launch later this year.

Conceived more than 30 years ago as a successor of the then new Hubble Space Telescope, James Webb will be the largest observatory ever to be put in orbit. It is designed to use its infrared eyes to peer further into the universe's history than ever before. With its 6.5-meter in diameter gold-plated mirror, the telescope will attempt to answer questions about the formation of first stars and galaxies out of the darkness of the early universe.

At 44 feet (13.2 meters) long and 14 feet (4.2 m) wide, the telescope is about the size of a large tractor-trailer truck, fitted with intricate sun shades that could cover a tennis court once unfolded.

The program faced many delays, not just due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but seems finally on track to start producing ground-breaking astronomical observations. The testing, which took place at the facilities of prime contractor Northrop Grumman in California, made sure that nothing would go wrong with the more than $10 billion spacecraft during launch and once in space.

"NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has reached a major turning point on its path toward launch with the completion of final observatory integration and testing," Gregory Robinson, Webb's program director at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in a statement. "We have a tremendously dedicated workforce who brought us to the finish line, and we are very excited to see that Webb is ready for launch and will soon be on that science journey."

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30 2021, @06:55AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30 2021, @06:55AM (#1172231)

    I thought The MightyChickadee's sub was short, informative, and cute. It also is verboten! This a Banned User! Do not read its posts, or mod its comments, or even do anything that might acknowledge its existence. Janrinok has assured me that this account is never to be acknowledged in any way. It is excommunicado! A mortal sin to interact with The Mighty Chickadee, and not any sin to strike it down on sight. So nice the old Roman Catholic ways are back in fashion on SoylentNews!!

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  • (Score: 2) by TheMightyChickadee on Tuesday August 31 2021, @06:40AM

    by TheMightyChickadee (14674) on Tuesday August 31 2021, @06:40AM (#1172706)

    I feel sort of more accepted now that I am excommunicated. Kind of frees one of the orthodoxy of the Church, and lets you run to the sanctuary of the German Princes. "Here I stand, I can do no other!" And I have never really been much of a Lutheran. But, good company for hard times, as they say! Now about this "Time Crystal", I know of a certain Doctor, . . .