The James Webb Space Telescope

Last Modified: Sun Nov 27 2016 08:46:11 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 7X
    larger than the Hubble in light-gathering ability, the Webb telescope is designed to see farther out in space and deeper into the past of the universe. It may solve mysteries about how and when the first stars and galaxies emerged some 13 billion years ago in the smoky aftermath of the Big Bang.
  • 18
    hexagonal mirrors segments make up the 6.5 mt dia (~ 21.2 ft) primary mirror. In comparison, the Hubble was 2.4 mts.
  • 150 million year
    to 1 billion years after time began is the period that the telescope aims to understand. The period is known as the reionization epoch, when bright and violent new stars and the searing radiation from quasars were burning away a gloomy fog of hydrogen gas that prevailed at the end of the Big Bang.
  • 1996
    when the idea for the telescope was conceived with a projected price tag then of $500 million. The telescope, named after NASA Administrator James Webb, who led the space agency in the 1960s, is the long-awaited successor of the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • $8.7 billion
    current budget - Mismanaged, over budget and behind schedule, it crushed everything else out of NASA’s science budget, prompting Nature magazine to characterize it as “the telescope that ate astronomy”.
  • 20 years
    since it was conceived, the telescope is finally on track and on budget to be launched in October 2018 and sent a million miles from Earth, NASA says.