Right now in low Earth orbitthere is the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990. Thanks to this huge device weighing more than 11,000 kilograms, the NASA aerospace agency learned about the existence of a huge number of galaxies and space phenomena new to science. The telescope has long passed its service life, but it still continues its work - it recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The space device has long been outdated and should obviously be turned off in a few years. To replace it, the space agency wants to send the James Webb telescope into space, which is almost ready to launch. However, the historical mission was greatly interfered with by the coronavirus pandemic - instead of March 2021, the telescope will be launched at a completely different time.
The impact of coronavirus on science
On the next postponement of the telescope launch date"James Webb" was reported on the NASA official website. This did not come as a surprise to space lovers, because the launch date had already changed so many times that we all lost count. For the first time, the intention to cancel the spring launch of the telescope in early June was announced by Thomas Zurbuchen, the head of NASA's scientific division. The reason, as in most of the world's problems, was the coronavirus pandemic. Agency staff need to make sure the telescope is working, and quarantine has slowed down the verification process.
Please note - the coronavirus pandemic onlyslowed down the work on the new telescope, rather than completely stopped it. According to Thomas Zurbuchen, work has been going very well lately. Even at the end of March 2020, when the sensational virus had already begun to spread around the world, NASA engineers were able to successfully deploy the telescope's main mirror - this became a kind of demonstration of the result of the work that was invested in the development of the space device.
The original launch of the James Webb Telescope wasscheduled for 2007. But during the construction of a huge apparatus for making new space discoveries, many problems arose. Because of them, a series of numerous transfers began - we can say that they happened every year. And now 2020 has come, when the device is almost assembled and ready for new discoveries. But no - the coronavirus pandemic has begun, because of which not only the scientific community, but the whole world as well, suffers.
Ilya Khel, the author of Hi-News.ru, wrote a detailed article on how the James Webb telescope works. Recomend for everybody!
James Webb Telescope Launch
If we successfully survive the pandemic, massiveriots and other confusion, the James Webb Telescope will be launched on October 31, 2021. To put it into orbit, the planet will be used by the carrier rocket "Ariane-5". If the launch goes smoothly, the device will be able to start exploring space as early as 2022. Its service life is estimated at 5 years, but if it is as reliable as the Hubble, it will surely serve for the good of humanity for another couple of decades. In general, we hold our fists with the whole world and are waiting for the discovery of new planets, on one of which there may be intelligent life.
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Unfortunately, so far no one has canceled the probabilitythat problems can arise when starting the telescope and even after that. After all, even SpaceX is very often forced to postpone launches of telescopes and, more recently, even people, due to bad weather. It is possible that some problems will arise after the launch of the telescope - you never know, what if it will not be able to open the mirrors? However, let's not think about the negative and start hoping for the best. Be healthy!