The James Webb Space Telescope was a joint project of NASA and the European Science Foundation (ESF). It completed space operations about 15 years earlier than its scheduled deadline in April 2018. As it is the largest single-class space telescope, it consists of two interleaved large segments that are joined together to form one long single module (SMC). These segments include the science instrument and servicing modules which are used extensively by both missions. However, these elements need to be removed before any more critical subsystems can be attached on them.
James Webb Primary Science Goal
The primary science goal for the James Webb Space Telescope is to investigate how black holes may have evolved over time and why the universe has such significant properties that make it so unique. One of the goals that James Webb wants to achieve is “observing galaxies at redshift 0.2–1.0,” which means observing them millions or billions of light years away from us in deep space. With this goal in mind, astronomers will be able to observe the evolution of galaxy clusters via galactic collisions with supermassive black holes at around 2,800 kilometers per second. This kind of event is possible only in extremely rare circumstances and is likely rare enough that there are no other examples within our galaxy (like when we look out at an object and see stars behind it). Thus, the task of understanding what happened in the early stages of cosmic development would not take place until the Hubble and JWST spacecraft entered their respective orbits. To do this, they will need to fly over multiple galaxies at different times to collect images and data. As shown in Figure 1, the final image of the entire sky is captured just seconds after a powerful collision with another star, as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In addition, they will be able to obtain detailed information about the location of the objects and understand where they came from given their high velocity of roughly 8 kilometers per second, which gives rise to the term sub-millisecond. Once NASA, ESA, SARAO, and JWST gain entry into Earth’s orbit, they will fly through space once again and capture more data about the universe. A close-up view of the world of space will be taken during this passage before the telescopes return to Earth and a final product in 2020. The science team would then determine how far apart the two groups of telescopes should be set for imaging each other’s skies. They would also try to determine which area should be most suitable for the observations due to Hubble’s ability to provide a better picture of distant objects while also having a lower risk of contamination from the Sun. Due to the low observatories’ temperatures, the ground would also be more suitable for studying hot regions of the universe, especially near the poles, and this could allow for studying this region further than it might be when viewing on normal nights. Finally, both missions are expected to produce new discoveries regarding dark matter, and to help humanity learn more about the universe.
James Webb Main Servicing Segments
The main servicing segments of the James Webb are built using materials from the existing Solar System, but will require additional fabrication steps due to the structure of both components and the fact that the solar system was largely formed a few million years ago. Therefore, it needs to add some extra material called epoxy resin into its assembly process. Epoxy resin is the same kind used in traditional rocket fuel. It works well at freezing temperatures and at very high pressure. Unfortunately, NASA does not allow use of polyimide (PI), which makes up the core of the parts. Instead, researchers used N-type silicate glass fiber-reinforced epoxy (SIGE) fiber as a substitute. Some scientists had previously thought that PI fibers would need to be replaced altogether when exploring the history of the universe, however, this new discovery shows that you can continue to use PI as a replacement whenever you want provided that your mission requires the original piece.
Design of the James Webb
The design of the James Webb will be completed and flown in 10 or 12 years. After all the segmental pieces have been built and tested, NASA and ESA will conduct tests and assemble one of the individual segments to complete the whole satellite. Then the remaining sections are stacked together to form the entire body. Another important milestone is the launch of the first part of the James Webb space telescope on Tuesday, March 21, 2021. Next year’s launch takes place no earlier than June of 2023, and it will then be transported to Alaska, Canada for commissioning. Then it passes under the supervision of the United Launch Alliance’s Electron Intensity Analysis Mission (EIA) for several weeks, during which it conducts additional electrical and thermal engineering studies to prepare for the launch and perform the required experiments for their final inspection. On Monday May 19, the first launch window opens for launch and NASA astronauts will splash down on a Pacific Ocean beach in Virginia Beach, Florida. In July, NASA and ESA hope to hold a press conference at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to announce the launch of the James Webb, followed by the arrival of it at Cape Canaveral, Florida. From there, the spacecraft will begin an eight month journey across a vast expanse of Earth to space.