Nasa prepares the James Webb Space Telescope for launch
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James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful telescope ever built, it’s a staggering 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Telescope. It will be launched from French Guiana today. Just how much did it cost to build?
The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched into space within the next few hours.
The telescope will be launched into space on a European Ariane rocket.
The expected launch time from the equatorial Kourou spaceport is timed for 09:20 local time (12:20 GMT).
But tensions are running high as the launch is full of perils.
The telescope must first survive a 27 minus ascent into space on effectively a controlled explosion.
US space agency administrator Bill Nelson said: “We’ve always known that this project would be a risky endeavour.
“But, of course, when you want a big reward, you have to usually take a big risk.”
How much did the telescope cost to build?
The construction of the telescope has been a colossal project. It has been 30 years in the making.
The project has cost a staggering $10 billion ( approximately £7,469,600,000) and has been the joint endeavour of the space agencies of the US, Europe and Canada.
The telescope will build on the work made by its predecessor, the Hubble telescope, which is close to the end of its lifespan, having spent 31 years in orbit.
Just how powerful is the telescope?
The James Webb Telescope is hugely powerful, it should be strong enough to try to picture the very first stars and galaxies to shine in the Universe.
According to the BBC, it will also have to power to probe the atmospheres of other distant planets.
This will be done to try to look for gases that might indicate life could be present on them.
Who is the telescope named after?
The telescope is named after one of the main forces behind the Apollo Moon programme.
James Webb ran NASA from 1961 to 1968, under his tenure NASA had launched more than 75 space science missions to study the stars and galaxies.
How does the James Webb Telescope compare to the Hubble?
The James Webb Telescope will be far more versatile than its predecessor, the Hubble.
Its operating temperature will be as low as -230C, while the Hubble could only operate at just 20C.
The mirror of the James Webb telescope will also be far larger, it is a staggering 6.5m in size compared to the Hubble which is just 2.4m.
But the James Webb isn’t without its flaws, its lifespan is expected to be just 10 years compared to the Hubble which has been in operation for 30 years so far.
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