The new James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on December 18th of this year. The telescope is able to peer across the universe to determine the potential habitability of planets that orbit distant stars.
It will be the most sophisticated observation platform ever launched into space and will bring with it an exciting new era of astronomical discovery.
This month saw the release of a new report entitled the ‘Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s’ that aims to establish astronomy’s top priorities while also seeking to muster financial support from federal policymakers. To facilitate the continued search for potentially habitable extraterrestrial worlds, the report outlines what is known as the ‘Great Observatories Mission and Technology Maturation Program’ a $1.2 billion initiative designed to fundamentally change the way NASA develops and launches major astronomy projects by investing in the technologies needed to reduce the cost and risk of such platforms and thus making them quicker and easier to build and launch.
While it won’t begin development until the end of this decade and might not even be launched until the mid-2040s, this super-advanced space telescope will be capable of observing extrasolar planets in incredible detail – assisting astronomers in finding the telltale signs of alien life.
“This report sets an ambitious, inspirational, and aspirational vision for the coming decade of astronomy and astrophysics,” said committee co-chair Fiona Harrison.
“In changing how we plan for the most ambitious strategic space projects, we can develop a broad portfolio of missions to pursue visionary goals, such as searching for life on planets orbiting stars in our galactic neighborhood – and at the same time exploit the richness of 21st-century astrophysics through a panchromatic fleet.”
Source Unexplained Mysteries