JAN 10, 2018 06:14 PM PST

NASA Reflects on the James Webb Space Telescope's Progress

The Hubble Space Telescope has served as NASA’s primary space observatory for several years, but the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will soon supersede it.

NASA engineers stand by the James Webb Space Telescope's heart in front of Chamber A.

Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

The heart of NASA’s JWST spent most of 2017 in Texas for cryogenic and mirror alignment tests inside of NASA’s historic Chamber A facility, but now it’s being prepped for a journey to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California.

To reflect on all JWST-based achievements in 2017, NASA published a new time-lapse video on its YouTube channel that showcases the entire Chamber A experience from beginning to end:

As the video depicts, it was a challenge getting the JWST’s heart in and out of Chamber A’s massive 40-foot circular door. Once in, however, NASA removed all air from the chamber and began cooling it down to mimic the frigid environment of outer space for testing.

Several weeks later, after NASA has conducted all necessary tests, NASA warmed the chamber back to room temperature and replaced the air that they removed previously. The JWST had passed all its tests with flying colors, and NASA didn’t waste any time pulling it back out of the chamber afterward.

Related: A closer look at James Webb Space Telescope's completed primary mirror

Once the heart of the JWST arrives at its destination in California, engineers will integrate it with the massive tinfoil-like Sunshield and spacecraft bus. This project will complete the JWST’s build and make it look more like an actual spacecraft, and soon after, it’ll undergo a few more tests.

Once everything’s said and done, NASA expects to launch the completed JWST into space sometime in 2019. Once there, it can begin exploring the cosmos in a new light, peering deeper into space than any space telescope before it.

With a little luck, JWST will answer several unanswered questions about our universe that Hubble just couldn’t.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 31, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 31, 2018
Where Does Earth Get Its Water
We live on Earth, the so-called blue planet. Without water, Earth would not be "blue" at all, not to mention the life that is bred on the planet...
AUG 12, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 12, 2018
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Rockets Toward the Sun
There’s been some serious hype regarding NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in recent memory, but now all that hype is now closer than it ever has been...
OCT 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 09, 2018
Putting the Mars 2020 Rover Together - Behind the Scenes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know by now that NASA’s planning to send another rover to the Martian surface to investigate...
OCT 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 17, 2018
Do Magnetic Fields Influence Supermassive Black Hole Activity?
Black holes have long captivated some of the most brilliant minds in astrophysics, and despite all the space telescope observations astronomers have made o...
NOV 04, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 04, 2018
Roscosmos Discerns Cause of Faulty Soyuz Launch, Expects to Resume Launches
Just last month, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft poised to send an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station failed mid-flig...
NOV 11, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2018
Rocket Lab Successfully Sends Electron Rocket on its First Commercial Flight
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket quickly became of the most prominent means of commercial and private satellite launches, but sending such a massive rocket t...
Loading Comments...