NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Making Million-Mile Journey Into Space

by Shelby Scott

NASA seems to be breaking outer space boundaries left and right lately. Now, on Christmas Eve, it appears the national space agency plans to launch yet another historic journey into the depths of our universe.

Prior to the launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope next week, scientists and space enthusiasts alike have been left in awe of the images sent back to Earth by the agency’s iconic Hubble Telescope. Since its launch, Hubble has been looking 10 billion lightyears into deep space. The miraculous spacecraft has been able to capture some of the most unique and unseen phenomena to date.

However, now, NASA will debut its latest creation next week. With the new and improved James Webb Space Telescope, scientists plan to kick off the first leg of a million-mile journey. According to Today, the new telescope “could give us a look at the very beginning of time.”

Following the newscaster’s introduction, NBC’s Jacob Ward takes Outsiders on a brief exploration of NASA’s latest intelligent piece of equipment.

Hubble has been navigating space for us for more than three decades. Although, Ward states the Webb telescope, with 100x the reach, will build on that already dynamic and insightful information. He suggests that the new telescope may even give us a peek at the very beginnings of our universe.

Exploring the Composition of the Latest Space Telescope

As to its appearance, the James Ward Space Telescope has quite a capability for storage. The massive craft folds up to take up much less space than during its full expanse. On full display, however, the telescope has a unique honeycomb shape and color that has already piqued my interest in the “most expensive spacecraft in human history.” Overall, the telescope measures 21 feet across, its largest component being a “five-layer sun shield.”

Ward states each layer of the sun shield is only the thickness of a human hair. However, those thin layers remain detrimental in protecting the craft against the glaring heat and brightness of the sun.

The beginning of the brand new telescope’s journey kicks off following its launch into space. There, it will unfold itself, display its antenna and expand to full width. It will then further launch a million miles from Earth and our sun to explore the vast universe.

What Makes NASA’s James Webb Telescope Different From Hubble?

The Hubble Space Telescope has no doubt been detrimental in providing scientists a plethora of unique, interesting, and necessary information regarding our universe and our place within. However, Hubble far differs from NASA’s latest spacecraft, the James Webb Space Telescope.

According to the NBC broadcaster, Hubble was built to take images and see phenomena across space much like humans. However, the James Webb edition differs as it also has capabilities to see infrared light, essentially heat, “that our eyes can’t detect.” In doing so, it will scan our universe in “one huge, yearly circle.”

Bill Ochs, the new space telescope’s project manager, explained “by looking at the infrared, we’ll be able to look at that light coming from the very beginnings of the universe,” more than 13 billion years ago.