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Tag: telescope

NASA pushes back launch date for James Webb Space Telescope, again

NASA pushes back launch date for James Webb Space Telescope, again

Science
Sept. 29 (UPI) -- NASA's new target window for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope is between March and June 2019. The world's most powerful space telescope was previously scheduled to launch in October 2018."The change in launch timing is not indicative of hardware or technical performance concerns," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's D.C. headquarters, announced in a news release this week. "Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected."An international agreement with the European Space Agency required NASA to analyze the telescope's launch preparedness one year prior to the launch date. The assessment forced officials to reconsider their plans, and ultimately inspired NASA...
Scientists work to keep NASA's space telescope in the dark

Scientists work to keep NASA's space telescope in the dark

Science
Sept. 12 (UPI) -- NASA scientists are taking on the vital task of ensuring unwanted infrared light does not interfere with the optical testing of the James Webb Space Telescope."One of the challenges of testing an infrared telescope is that room-temperature objects [such as the walls of the vacuum chamber itself, or the warm electronics systems inside it] glow at the wavelengths of light that the telescope is trying to measure," Randy Kimble, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a press release. "If not carefully controlled, that warm glow can provide an unwanted background in the telescope's images, which would compromise the optical testing."Due to the telescope's extreme sensitivity to infrared light, scientists are using a cold, gaseous helium sh...