China is reportedly in the works of a new space telescope that could change the way we view the cosmos. Space technology is growing at an exponential rate and the visibility of distant cosmic wonders is coming into focus.
China’s new space telescope, which doesn’t yet have a name and was first outlined by People’s Daily Online, would have a field view that could be approximately 300 times larger than that of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
That’s a pretty big leap considering NASA’s upcoming WFIRST space telescope, scheduled to launch in 2020, has a view 100 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope. Sooner than that, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is also in the works with a field of view about 15 times larger than Hubble, and it is scheduled to be launched some time in 2018.
The larger field view will give astronomers a much wider glance at distant entities in space. This will allow for more to be observed at one particular time, and could work as a catalyst for finding breakthrough discoveries.
China intends to make its new space telescope dockable with a future modular space station known as Tiangong-3, which will go into space by around 2020. The telescope, on the other hand, may not go into space until much further in the future.
By making it dockable with a close-orbiting modular space station, China makes the space telescope easier to access for repairs and maintenance because those on board will simply need to be delivered supplies and they can handle the rest themselves.
This alone is a huge advantage over that of Hubble, because with Hubble, NASA always has to send astronauts on missions straight to the space telescope and it can be not only dangerous, but highly expensive and inconvenient.
Source: People's Daily Online