Hubble’s successor to the Space Telescope goes to space

Hubble's successor to the Space Telescope goes to space

The launch will take place in French Guiana, at the European Space Base Kourou. At 1.20 p.m., the rocket containing James Webb should take off. Then he goes to his new workplace, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. It should be there in about a month.

James Webb was built by the European Space Agency (ESA), the United States (NASA), and Canada (CSA). Leiden University, the TNO Research Institute and the NOVA-OIR Scientific Office participate in the space telescope from the Netherlands.

James Webb has been working on for a long time. Development began in 1996 and was planned to be launched as early as 2007. However, the departure was postponed several times due to technical problems. The coronavirus pandemic is also causing delays.

James Webb is the size of a tennis court. The core is a 6.5 meter gold-beryllium mirror. It picks up light from space. It can be seen in time past a billion years further than Hubble.

A new space telescope must search for planets that might be home to life, distant galaxies and the aftermath of the Big Bang. Since James Webb is so far away, he is not bothered by the Earth’s heat. At his workplace, the temperature is minus 233 degrees. This makes the measurements more accurate and reliable.

Launched in April 1990, Hubble has been orbiting Earth for more than 31 years at an altitude of more than 500 km. He studied distant galaxies, among other things, which gave scientists a better picture of the origin of the universe. He also made well-known photographs of distant nebulae. Hubble received its last service in 2009. The instruments on the plane malfunctioned recently and it is not known how long they will last. Sometime in the next 10 years, Hubble could fall out of orbit. When that happens, it burns up in the atmosphere.

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