The James Webb Space Telescope is the advanced upcoming successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that was launched in the 1990’s, and it will be launched into space in October of 2018 to observe celestial bodies that are too distant to see from the Earth.
Nearing the end of last year, a critical component of the James Webb Space Telescope went through cryogenic testing to ensure that it could handle the different thermal conditions it would experience in outer space.
Now, the new space telescope is going through completion steps of assembling the primary mirror surface, and being several months ahead of schedule, it’s believed that the assembly process will be finished sooner rather than later.
"We keep our fingers crossed, but things have been going tremendously well," said Nasa's JWST deputy project manager John Durning. "We have eight months of reserve; we've consumed about a month with various activities."
Assembly of the space telescope is going on right now, and the heart of the space telescope that underwent extreme cryogenic testing at the end of last year will soon be put into the shell as well.
Space telescopes are used because since they operate in space, they are not blinded by our atmosphere. In space, we can get a much clearer view of objects we want to study, which we can’t do on Earth because our atmosphere actually blocks out different light wavelengths to protect us from their harmful side effects.
The James Webb Space Telescope will be bringing modern 21st century technology to astronomers that wish to observe objects in space. It is a much needed upgrade over the aging Hubble Space Telescope.