17 February 2016

Watch This Mesmerizing Timelapse of NASA's Next Humongous Telescope Being Assembled

Article re posted from http://www.popsci.com/james-webb-space-telescope-assembly-mesmerizing-time-lapse

The massive mirror on the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is now complete. And it looks lovely.

The engineers filmed the entire assembly process of all 18 sections of ultra-lightweight beryllium in the 21-foot-wide mirror (6.5 meters), and now you can watch it too (above). The mirror was completed earlier this month on February 3, 2016 at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, after a decade of research and development, according to NASA.

When the telescope is finally in place in outer space, it will be the size of an Earth tennis court. It will then allow scientists to peer deeper into the history of the universe than even the storied Hubble Space Telescope that it is meant to eventually outlast.

It's good to finally see the JWST come together, too. The giant telescope has been plagued with delays and budget overruns. It was originally supposed to launch in 2007.

It will finally launch in October 2018 on a European rocket. In the meantime, you can keep track of the JWST construction progress on NASA's live 'WebbCams' online.

[H/T: Amber Straughn via Elizabeth Lopatto]



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