29 September 2012

James Webb Space Telescope Mirrors Prepared for Delivery

The James Webb Space Telescope is due to be launched in 2015 and before that happens there is a lot to do. This awesome photograph shows the sheer scale of the project.  It shows the 18 primary mirror segments which will ultimately work together as one large 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror. They are made from beryllium which is extremely stable at cryogenic levels of temperature. Yet as it is not very reflective each of these mirrors is coated with gold.  Here you can see the mirrors, made by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp in Boulder, Colorado, packing the mirrors in to special carriers for delivery to NASA.

The Webb telescope is the world's next-generation space observatory and descendant of the Hubble Space Telescope. The most potent space telescope ever constructed, the Webb telescope will deliver images of the first galaxies ever created, and discover planets around far away stars.

Image Credit Flickr User NASA Goddard