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Son of Hubble, Prepare for a 2013 Liftoff

By Chris V. Thangham     Aug 2, 2007 in Environment
The Hubble Space Telescope is 17 years old and is able to work far beyond its designed mission term. NASA is preparing to give a final tune up next year. The JWST will be the next generation telescope that will replace the Hubble Space Telescope.
The video shows an animation of how the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the next generation for the Hubble Space Telescope will be deployed in the year 2013.
JWST is scheduled to be launched in 2013 and will be located at a farther distance than the Hubble telescope to peer at the Space deeper and further. It will be able to see back to about 400 million years after the big bang, so we can see incredible pictures and stars and galaxies formations.
Every time you get new capabilities, you see a quantum jump in progress," says Mark Clampin, the observatory's project scientist. "I'm sure we'll discover things we've never seen before."
The New Space Telescope, Unfolded
1 Mirrors
JWST is equipped with 18 hexagonal beryllium mirrors, 51 inch wide. Beryllium is lighter, stronger and more stable than glass mirrors employed in Hubble. This array in JWST will weigh half and two and half times larger compared to the Hubble’s and hence can carry more payload or other instruments. Each segment can be pivot into six different directions and can be controlled from Earth.
2 Micro shutters
The business end of the telescope (the collector) has 62,415 openings, measuring about 100 x 200 microns each. It can capture spectrographs, images of incoming electro magnetic radiations from 100s of galaxies at the same time. Just like the mirrors, these shutters can be open or closed and controlled from Earth.
3 Infrared devices
The new telescope features four high-pixel density image sensor arrays — not so different from the ones found at the heart of a typical digicam. There is a near-infrared camera, a near-infrared spectrograph, a mid-infrared camera and a fine guidance sensor. In this case, there's a near-infrared camera, a near- infrared spectrograph, a mid-infrared camera, and a fine guidance sensor. This infrared reading capability allows seeing distant time points closer to big bang.
4 Sun shield
Sun's heat can easily overwhelm the infrared light that the telescope is looking for. Solution: five tennis-court-sized Mylar shields. The shields are coated in aluminum and conductive silicon; the open parasols will keep the scope cold to capture the images while protecting it from harmful radiation from the sun. The five layers protect the instrument from micrometeoroids or fine dust particles in space.
5 Location
Earth is not a good place to look at Space, the hazy atmosphere, heat in the atmosphere affects infrared imaging and clouds distorts focus. The JWST will be located at Lagrange point 2, a spot 932,000 miles from the Earth and is balanced by the Sun’s and Earth’s gravities.
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