James Webb Space Telescope

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JamesWebb Space Telescope

Humanbeings have a hunger of understanding the universe. However, tocomprehend the world, they require advanced technologies and enhancedways to observe it. Therefore, there has been need to have largetelescopes. Scientists have created several super telescopes thatinclude the giant Magellan that was the first to be launched, thetremendously large telescope, the 30 meter, the European EnormouslyLarge and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (Clery). The greatestof all these is the James Webb Space telescope that is to be launchedin 2018

TheJames Webb Telescope is a venture of NASA who is the leading partner.The European Space Agency (ESA) is another partner that has madesignificant contributions. Moreover, the Northrop Grumman AerospaceSystems (NGAS) is the central industrial supplier with theresponsibility of structuring the visual telescope, the spaceship busand the sun shield and the Canadian Space Agency (Clery). The projectbegan in 1996. It was to be completed and launched in 2011, but dueto financial obstacles, the project is still not complete. It isexpected to be initiated in 2018 (Liand Dai, 3).The JWST will substitute the aging Hubble Space Telescope. It isintended to provide exceptional images of the ancient stars andgalaxies that molded in the space.

TheWebb’s Devices

TheJames Webb Telescope is constructed around four essential tools thatinclude the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRcam), the Near-InfraredSpectrograph (NIRSpec), the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and theFine Guidance Sensor(Darrin and Barth, 162).From the way the telescope is built, the NIRCam is the first imager(Darrinand Barth, 163).The work of the NIRCam is to detect the creation of the originalstars and galaxies. Moreover, it will be capable of finding thenumber of stars in the adjacent galaxies, the Kuiper Belt Objects andthe undeveloped stars existing in the Milky Way (Clery). Moreover,the NIRCam is made up of coronagraphs that prevent light from thebright items in the universe to detect the dimmer substances that arenearby.

TheNIRSpec is built to function in an array of 0 to 6 microns. It has aspectrograph that is supposed to split light getting in into aspectrum (Darrinand Barth, 163).The work of the spectrum is to tell about the object’s features,temperature, mass and chemical composition. NIRSpec has thecapability of observing at least 100 objects at the same time. MIRIis another component of the James Webb Telescope. It looks like acamera and has features of a spectrograph. It can observe the redshifted light of different galaxies from a distance. Moreover, it cansee newly developing stars, substances in the Kuiper Belt and cometsthat are faint (Darrinand Barth, 167).MIRI can provide a wide-field and broadband imaging. The spectrographin the MIRI is meant to provide physical details of the distantobjects supposed to be observed.

TheFine Guidance Sensor is another part in the James Webb that will givethe telescope a better precision necessary to produce high-qualityimageries. The FGS is a specific instrument that should operate inthree ways. Its work is to investigate first light detection, thecharacterization, and detection of exoplanet and lastly, it transitsspectroscopy. The telescope uses Teledyne HAWAII-2RG detector arraysfor the four components. The FGS and the NIRSpec have 5-micron cutoffsensors while the NIRCam utilizes a short wavelength of 2.5 micronscutoff detectors imager (Darrinand Barth, 168).

Thedifferent components of the Webb are provided by various bodies. Forexample, the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is to be issued by theESA and NASA. The Near-Infrared Spectrograph is to be given by ESA.Moreover, the NIRCam is to be constructed by the University ofArizona while the NIRISS is to be furnished by the CSA. The JWST ispurposed to operate on four themes. It observes objects through firstlighting and re-ionizing. Therefore, this concept shows how the starswere formed. Moreover, it will illustrate how the galaxies assemblefrom being small and clumpy to being stunning and spiral.Furthermore, it will be able to observe the origin of stars andprotoplanetary structures. The eye of the telescope will be able tomove straight through clouds of dust because it has infrared lightthat can penetrate the dusty shroud and reveal what is inside. Thestars are formed in the clouds of dust. Through the JWST, humanbeings will be able to understand how the solar system is formed. Itwill also be easy to understand planets and the origin of life.

Webbtelescope can observe objects in the solar system that have anangular rate of motion of 0.03 arc seconds per second. It can findplanets such as Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. It isalso able to observe satellites and comets, asteroids and minorplanets that are beyond Mars. Since the telescope has the near- IRand mid-IR sensitivity, it can observe and conduct an analyticalstudy on all known Kuiper Belt Objects. However, the brightness ofsome planets such as Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars will limit theobservations made by Webb telescope.

DifferencesBetween the James Webb Telescope and the Hubble

TheJWST is entirely different from the Hubble Telescope that has been inuse for decades. The JWST is meant to be around 6.4 meters indiameter unlike the 2.5 meters diameter of the Hubble. Furthermore,the Webb’s launching is to be aboard a rocket which will move tothe second Lagrange (L2). The telescope needs to be transported as acargo in the nose of the rocket for it to be launched aboard. Thelaunching of the JWST is different from that of Hubble telescopewhich was positioned in a space aircraft and then set out by theCanadarm in low globe orbit. Another difference between the twolargest telescopes is that the James Webb needs to be kept extremelycold for it to function properly while the Hubble telescope does nothave to be cool. Therefore, it has a cryocooler that is aimed atcooling the telescope (Aguirre,167).The JWST has a big sunshade with five layers that are large. Due toits infrared characteristic, James Webb telescope will be able to seeeven the baby galaxies that the Hubble telescope could not see.Therefore, the sensitivity of telescope to be launched will be 100times that of the HST making it the hugest project done. The Webb isconfigured using a large sun shield that blocks radiations from thesun, and the moon which keeps the sensitivity of the instrument(Aguirre,167).

Theplan for the JWST that shows the complete life cycle of the projectis estimated to cost around 10 billion dollars according to a reportby NASA. The cost stated is meant to cover the developmental,launching, operations and science costs. The new amount stated isaround 2.2 billion dollars higher than the number that had beenstated last year. Due to the escalation of the expenses, the HouseAppropriations Committee had recommended the cancellation of theproject. However, the project continued and currently it is in thelast stages of development waiting to be launched.

IssuesInvolved in Operation and Launch of the James Webb Telescope

Thebiggest problem with the James Webb telescope is servicing. The JWSTis supposed to be started at the L2 which is further than where theHubble is placed (Seedsand Backman, 116).Therefore, it’s hard to send the cargo and spacewalking astronautsto do repairs on the glitches of the telescope. Moreover, NASA hasnot yet planned for repairs and servicing yet the cost of the projectis very high. The launch of the telescope has a high likelihood offailure as most people are having tension about the launch because ithas to be 1.5 kilometers away from earth which is the furthest startever done. Moreover, the unfolding of the mirror in the telescope isrisky and could lead to failure

Inconclusion, the James Webb telescope is the greatest projectundertaken by different countries. The developmental process hasinvolved more than 14 countries providing qualified contractors. Thetelescope will be able to give more information about the galaxy, thesolar arrangement, and the Milky Way. It has the capability ofperforming better than the current Hubble telescope since it usesinfrared lightsing. Moreover, the positioning of the telescope is wayfurther away from the earth since it is 1.5 kilometers away.Therefore, the telescope will provide more information on theformation of planets and stars which have fascinated human beings forlong. However, the development and servicing costs for the projecthave been extremely high that has once led to the cancellation of theproject. The James Webb Telescope launch has anxiously been waitedfor by many individuals across the globe.


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Clery,Daniel. &quotBuilding James Webb: The Biggest, Boldest, RiskiestSpace Telescope&quot. Science| AAAS,2016,http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/building-james-webb-biggest-boldest-riskiest-space-telescope.Accessed 28March2017.

Darrin,M. Ann Garrison, and Janet L Barth. SystemsEngineering For Microscale and Nanoscale Technologies.1st ed., Boca Raton, Fla, CRC, 2016.

Li,Shengyi, and Yifan Dai. Largeand Middle-Scale Aperture Aspheric Surfaces: Lapping, Polishing andMeasurement.1st ed., Hoboken, New Jersey, John Wiley &amp Sons, 2017.

Seeds,Michael A, and Dana E Backman.Starsand Galaxies.1st ed., Boston, Mass, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2013.