The upcoming advanced and super powerful telescope of NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is in its final stage of testing. As per the US space agency, the JWST has just come out of a huge thermal vacuum Testing Chamber. After undergoing rigorous and hardcore cryogenic tests for more than three months, the $8.8 billion JWST has finally left the giant testing chamber present in the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The JWST was in the cryogenic testing chamber since July and was removed last week. NASA informed that it put the JWST to rigorous cryogenic tests so as to ensure that the telescope’s instruments and the optical element can withstand and function properly in the cold, frigid and airless conditions of space. While NASA scientists are carefully studying the results of the tests, the engineers are busy the tested parts of JWST back together again.
The JWST is scheduled to launch in spring 2019, and all these latest tests take it one step closer to the launch. A spacecraft carrying the JWST will blast off from a European spaceport in French Guiana. Once deployed in space, the JWST will travel to the sun-Earth Lagrange point 2, situated around 9, 30,000 miles from Earth.
Once Launched, JSWT will become the most powerful man-made telescope ever built. Its main aim is to penetrate into the deepest corners of Universe and collect data about some of the oldest observable galaxies, supermassive black holes at the center of the galaxies, exoplanets as well as Jupiter and its moons. The primary mirror of JSWT is six times the size of NASA’s Hubble Space. It’s extremely high-resolution capability will allow the scientists to study the atmosphere of exoplanets more efficiently and many astronomers are expecting that this JWST might help them find alien life beyond our Earth.
Before the cryogenic tests, the JWST underwent acoustic and vibrational tests at Maryland’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where the space telescope went through a mock launching test. BY doing this test, NASA wanted to ensure that JWST undergoes a safe launch without any damage. The JWST will now be taken to Northrop Grumman, California where it will go through another round of testing before its launch in 2019. As per NASA, the next phase of JWST’s development includes the main mirror being fitted to a sun-shield, so as to protect it from overheating.
The science and research fraternity is eagerly waiting for the launch of the powerful and advanced JWST and hundreds of proposal has been submitted by global science teams to get a chance to become the first users of JWST after its launch. “We were impressed by the high quality of the proposals received. These observing programs not only will generate great science but also will be a unique resource for demonstrating the investigative capabilities of this extraordinary observatory to the worldwide scientific community,” stated Ken Sembach, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute.