James Webb Space Telescope, A better successor of the Hubble Space Telescope to be launched on Christmas Eve

NASA Invites Public to Share Excitement of Webb Space Telescope Launch |  NASA
Cr: NASA

The James Webb Space Telescope (also known as JWST or Webb) is a huge infrared telescope with a mirror surface measuring roughly 6.5 meters in diameter.

Size of mirror graphic

An Ariane 5 rocket is deemed to deploy the James Webb Space Telescope. The European commitment to the project includes the launch vehicle. Webb is set to be delivered to its desired location in space by the Ariane 5, one of the world’s greatest trusted launch vehicles. The European Space Agency (ESA) has pledged to continue providing NASA with an Ariane 5 launcher and launch services. The Ariane 5 holds the world record for the most effective launches in a row with 80. (as of June 28, 2017).

Illustration of how the telescope will be launched from the Ariane rocket
JWST is being launched on an Ariane rocket from French Guiana
Cr: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/SPL

Webb is considered to be launched from the European Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex near Kourou, French Guiana, by Arianespace. It is ideal for launch sites to be near the equator because the Earth’s spin might provide more thrust. At the equator, the Earth’s surface moves at 1670 kilometers per hour.

Webb is inferred to be the most important telescope of the next ten years, servicing multitudes of scientists all over the world. It will examine every stage of our Planet’s progression, from the first brilliant glows after the Big Bang through the construction of solar systems suitable for sustaining species on worlds like Earth, as well as our own Solar System’s evolution.

Webb was previously known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST), but it was redesignated after previous NASA superintendent James Webb in September 2002. The $10 billion James Webb Space Observatory, NASA’s biggest and strongest space research telescope, is designed to explore the universe to learn about the universe’s evolution, from the Big Bang to the birth of alien planets and across.

The James Webb Space Telescope designated journey is a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) to its primary residence, a Lagrange point — a gravitationally stable place in space, in around 30 days. The James Webb Space Telescope orbits the sun at the intermediate Lagrange point (L2). The telescope will be able to keep track of Earth as it orbits the sun in this orbit. L2 is a point in space close to Earth that is on the contrary direction of the sun. It has been used by several other space telescopes, including the Planck Space Observatory and the Herschel Space Telescope.

James Webb annotated

Webb’s most notable feature is a five-layer sunshield the size of a tennis court that reduces solar heat by more than a million times. The lenses and spectrometers of the telescope’s four instruments contain sensors that can capture incredibly low signals. One device (NIRSpec) contains configurable micro shutters that allow up to 100 objects to be seen at the same time. Webb also features a cryocooler, which is used to chill the mid-infrared detectors of another instrument (MIRI) to an extremely cold 7 K so that they can function.

Like its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, the enormous James Webb Space Telescope is intended to take spectacular photographs of cosmic objects. Fortunately for scientists, the Hubble Space Telescope is still in good shape, and the two telescopes will likely work simultaneously for the first several years of JWST’s operation. JWST will also evaluate planetary systems discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope, as well as real-time observations from ground-based space observatories.

NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency collaborated to create the James Webb Space Telescope. According to NASA, nearly 300 institutions, groups, and enterprises from 29 states and 14 countries participated in the JWST. The James Webb Space Telescope is expected to last five years, but the target is ten. ESA claims this. A communication issue between the telescope and the launch vehicle after it was put on the launch vehicle resulted in yet another delay to December 24, 2021. The scientists and researchers involved have expressed their views about the telescope’s launch and operation.

Through an extremely competitive request for proposals, a group of scientists has been allocated observing time on the James Webb Telescope to observe many of the most distant galaxies harboring supermassive black holes that are vigorously accreting material from their surroundings.

These findings are believed to give insight into the complicated interplay between supermassive black holes, which are thought to exist at the center of nearly every giant galaxy,  and the dissemination of stars and gas within galaxies that contain them.

The James Webb Space Telescope is a huge step forward, not only in terms of science but also in terms of technology, in terms of gaining a greater knowledge of the origins of the enormous cosmos in which we live. Thousands of scientists and researchers throughout the world have worked together to create a machine as powerful and innovative as JWST, demonstrating what can be accomplished when mankind puts aside its differences and works together to achieve a shared objective. JWST is designed to travel over formerly untapped cosmic territory, revolutionizing the knowledge of our origins and motivating a new generation of researchers and scientists.

A successful launch is only the beginning of an episode of exceedingly difficult maneuvers that must be accomplished successfully in order to position the James Webb Telescope. The position of JWST was deliberately chosen to guarantee that the telescope can constantly face away from the sun, which is required for ultra-sensitive studies of the cosmos. Moreover, unlike Hubble, JWST cannot be operated by crew members, making JWST’s launch and implementation one of the most difficult space missions to date, with no room for failure.

JWST is set to disengage from the Ariane rocket a little over 30 minutes after launch and install its solar arrays, which will provide it with the energy it requires to resume its voyage to L2. As the JWST travels along its path, the giant solar shields that keep the telescope cool begin to implement, though not fully. The solar shields will begin to deploy fully a week after launch, reaching a size similar to that of a tennis court. The mirror image, which was folded to suit within the Ariane launch vehicle, begins to deploy about two weeks after launch.

Reference:

  • https://www.space.com/21925-james-webb-space-telescope-jwst.html
  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatoday.in/amp/science/story/james-webb-space-telescope-launch-ariane-5-nasa-hubble-milky-way-galaxy-exoplanets-1889874-2021-12-20
  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/science/2021/dec/20/james-webb-space-telescope-mission-ready-christmas-eve-launch
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope

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