Universe  ID: 12146

Building The Next Hubble

Once assembled, the James Webb Space Telescope will be the biggest and most powerful space telescope ever built. Its 18 primary mirror segments will work together as one large 21.3-foot diameter mirror to observe very distant objects in the cosmos. In February 2016, scientists and engineers completed installation of all of Webb’s primary mirrors onto the telescope in a large clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The team used a robotic arm reminiscent of a claw machine to meticulously place each of the hexagonal-shaped mirror segments onto the telescope structure. Each mirror is made of ultra-lightweight beryllium and coated with a thin layer of gold. The light detected by the mirrors will provide astronomers with images of the first galaxies ever formed, helping them study the many phases in the history of our universe, including the evolution of our own solar system. Watch the video to see a time-lapse of the mirror installation.
 

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For More Information

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-james-webb-space-telescope-primary-mirror-fully-assembled


Story Credits

Video Editor:
Michael McClare (HTSI)

Producers:
Michael McClare (HTSI)
Christopher Gunn (USRA)

Videographer:
Michael McClare (HTSI)

Writer:
NASA Viz Team

Writer:
Rob Gutro (NASA/GSFC)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Cover image courtesy of NASA
Shipping canister image courtesy of Ball Aerospace
Mirror images courtesy of NASA/Chris Gunn

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http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12146

Keywords:
SVS >> JWST
SVS >> App
SVS >> James Webb Space Telescope
NASA Science >> Universe