Today’s Solutions: October 26, 2021

NASA’s most technically complex space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, was slated for launch in 2007. Now, after years of delay-plagued development, the telescope may finally get its place in the night sky.

NASA recently announced that it’s completed its final litany of critical software and electrical systems tests, theoretically clearing it for launch as soon as 2021. It’s the “largest and most technically complex space science telescope NASA has ever built,” according to a statement.

It’s an international collaboration of unprecedented proportions between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. Engineers worked 24 hours a day for 15 days straight, executing over a thousand scripts and instructions — a 1,370 step process, according to NASA.

The 21-feet-wide telescope will observe distant space, orbiting the Sun instead of the Earth, but at a distance called the Lagrange point that will keep pace with the Earth. Its iconic 18 hexagonal mirror segments, each over four feet in diameter, will combine post-launch into a giant reflector that will allow the telescope to observe the stars in much lower frequency ranges compared to its predecessor, NASA’s Hubble space telescope. An origami-like sun shield the size of a tennis court will keep it cool.

The telescope will collect invaluable data using four scientific instruments, including cameras and spectrometers, to find out more about the earliest galaxies that first formed shortly after the Big Bang. It will also observe the early life cycles of stars as they form and evolve. Another goal will be to take the temperature and investigate the chemical properties of other planetary systems to investigate if life can survive in those systems, according to NASA.

At the Optimist Daily, we love to read about and see new discoveries from space. If this telescope finally winds up in the sky in 2021, it’s sure to be a wellspring of new cosmic discoveries. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

6 Foods for eye health that aren’t carrots

These days, many of us spend a lot of time straining our eyes by staring at screens. Unfortunately, cutting back on screen time may be difficult, especially if work demands that we work on our ... Read More

This wooden steak knife is three times stronger than steel

Scientists from the University of Maryland may have discovered a more eco-friendly alternative to ceramics and stainless steel for our knives and nails by figuring out how to chemically alter wood so that it can ... Read More

Newly discovered properties of cannabis could help prevent seizures

Cannabis has been used to battle against disease throughout history, with the component cannabidiol (CBD) becoming an accepted treatment for many disorders including epilepsy, anxiety, and more. However, cannabis contains many other cannabinoids which have ... Read More

Candy to costumes: 6 ways to make your Halloween more sustainable

Halloween is just around the corner, and many families are excited to celebrate the holiday in full force for the first time in two years. Last year we shared how to sustainably dispose of post-holiday ... Read More

These crafty activists flock together and stitch canaries for climate change

Over the past few months, residents in the UK would have had the chance to spot more than 70 “flocks” of UK crafters that have been gathering across the nation as a way to encourage ... Read More

The future of eco-friendly laundry detergent is in dissolvable sheets

While laundry pods are supposed to be biodegradable, wastewater treatment plants often don’t have the capacity to create the necessary conditions to dissolve them. As a result, the material in question (polyvinyl alcohol) typically ends ... Read More