NASA Launches Newest Telescope
by Dayanara Flores Gonzalez, age 14
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA, launched their newest invention, the James Webb Space Telescope in December of 2021. It was intended to replace its predecessor: the Hubble Space Telescope. The new telescope took flight from a launch site in French Guiana, located in South America. An Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket launched the telescope into space.
The James Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s biggest and most powerful space science telescope yet. It is one of NASA’s huge space instruments and it is similar to the Hubble but with improvements that will reveal new details. It took the new telescope 30 days to travel about a million miles and reach its destination, a stable gravitational location in space also known as a Lagrange point, or L2.
The telescope arrived at L2 on January 24, 2022. L2 is a spot in space near the Earth that lies opposite from the sun. The orbit will allow the telescope to stay in line with Earth as it orbits the sun. According to NASA, this new telescope will focus on four main areas: first light in the universe, birth of stars, protoplanetary systems and planets.
When the telescope is launched, it will undergo a series of scientific tests like sunshield deployment, telescope deployment, instrument turn-on and telescope alignment. This new telescope is expected to take photos of the celestial objects. It can also look at galaxies and help us understand how matter is organized and evolving in the universe. The James Webb Space Telescope will hopefully help humanity make new discoveries that haven’t been made up to this point.