NASA’s James Webb Passes Enormous Test, On Track For October 2021 Launch

Despite numerous delays, funding crises, and technical challenges, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is almost ready.

Every single component is fully built, assembled, and integrated.

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James Webb Telescope Completes Environmental Tests, A ‘Monumental’ Step Towards Launch

KEY POINTS

  • James Webb Space Telescope finally completed the series of environmental tests
  • It recently passed the tests to make sure that it will survive the launch in 2021
  • The tests simulated what it will likely experience on launch day

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) recently passed milestone tests. The all-important environment tests help ensure that the telescope will survive the trip to space.

It was only in August when Webb passed what’s called the “Ground Segment Test,” which made sure that it will be able to respond to the commands from Earth and also send back valuable data once in space.

In a NASA news release, on Tuesday, the agency said that Webb just passed more milestone tests, this time to ensure that it will survive the launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in October 2021.

The recent tests are called the “acoustic” and

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Sharpness of star-forming image matches expected resolution of Webb Space Telescope — ScienceDaily

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is still more than a year from launching, but the Gemini South telescope in Chile has provided astronomers a glimpse of what the orbiting observatory should deliver.

Using a wide-field adaptive optics camera that corrects for distortion from Earth’s atmosphere, Rice University’s Patrick Hartigan and Andrea Isella and Dublin City University’s Turlough Downes used the 8.1-meter telescope to capture near-infrared images of the Carina Nebula with the same resolution that’s expected of the Webb Telescope.

Hartigan, Isella and Downes describe their work in a study published online this week in Astrophysical Journal Letters. Their images, gathered over 10 hours in January 2018 at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of the National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab, show part of a molecular cloud about 7,500 light years from Earth. All stars, including Earth’s sun, are thought to form within molecular clouds.

“The results are stunning,” Hartigan

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