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The telescope Hubble's successor is scheduled to launch in June 2013

NASA officials unveiled a model of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a new telescope which is expected to replace the aging Hubble space telescope.  The $4.5 billion space telescope is bigger than the Hubble and will sit further from Earth.  The total expected cost of the project is almost $3 billion cheaper than the original Hubble project.

The JWST will be 80ft long by 40ft. high and will have a mirror nearly three times the size of the one used on the Hubble.  The 21ft. mirror will allow scientists to see further into the history of space.  Norhrop Grumman, the contractor responsible for building the JWST telescope, expects it to have a 10-year lifespan.

The full-scale model of the JWST is currently on display near the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  Although budget issues continue to plague NASA, all technical and cost schedules have reportedly been met for the past 20 months.

"We're making excellent progress in meeting all of our plans and commitments for a mid-2013 launch," said Martin Mohan, a Northrop Grumman project manager.

Until JWST is launched, NASA plans on continuing to service the Hubble -- NASA plans on launching at least one mission designed specifically for Hubble repair.

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What hubble successor?
By maven81 on 5/15/2007 1:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
NASA can't honestly claim that this is a Hubble successor considering last I heard it was designed to operate in only one wavelength region, infrared. The Hubble can also observe in ultraviolet, not to mention the obvious, visible light. Once the hubble is gone, that capability will be gone with it.

Second, if you're going to claim Iraq is more important, you better do some critical thinking first. As has been mentioned the DoD has these things called spy satellites, remember them? Rumor is among the modern ones, many are equivalent in price to the hubble space telescope, or more expensive then this one. Considering the "quality" of the intelligence they seem to be gathering I'd say you're barking up the wrong tree. Forbid the DoD to spend more money on such useless projects, and give that money to NASA instead. (Yes I know there's a possibility the spy satellites are actually collecting useful data and these findings are simply getting tossed or ignored. But it's the end result that counts, they do not seem to be a good investment).

RE: What hubble successor?
By teldar on 5/15/2007 6:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
last I heard it was designed to operate in only one wavelength region, infrared

I havn't heard much about it, however, if it has a mirror, it can operate in our visible light spectrum. It would be able to operate in infrared and ultraviolet and anything else that can reflect off a mirror if we have the sensors for them. Since we can do IR and UV cameras as well as Visible, it should be able to do all three if they put all the sensors in. There shouldn't be any way to limit it to one band of light unless it is poorly equipped.

Hopefully they are smarter than that. Since they can design it, I would think they probably are.


RE: What hubble successor?
By Shadowself on 5/15/2007 6:58:04 PM , Rating: 3
JWST is infrared only.

This is NOT one "color" like was implied or even one wavelength. IR is a very broad band of "colors" that your eyes just cannot see. In fact IR is a much, much broader band than the visible spectrum.

While the article seems to make a big deal about how much larger the JWST is than the Hubble, this larger size is necesssary in order to deal with the significantly longer wavelenths of IR as compared to visible.

What the IR bands utilized in JWST will allow is looking more deeply into regions that Hubble could not. Different areas of space have different opacities due to what's there. JWST will give a different picture of what's there -- sometimes much further than Hubble.

It is a different instrument. It's not just a "better, newer Hubble".

RE: What hubble successor?
By maven81 on 5/15/2007 10:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't implying that it's just one wavelength. Indeed the near and far infrared cover a broader area of the spectrum. However, the JWST was designed from the start to be an infrared observatory. It's not a general purpose observatory like the hubble. As you said, a different instrument.
There's definitely a surge in infrared astronomy these days, but I'm sure visible light has not outlived it's usefullness.

RE: What hubble successor?
By Maxmars on 5/16/2007 11:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Excellent explanation!

RE: What hubble successor?
By theapparition on 5/16/2007 9:55:15 AM , Rating: 2
however, if it has a mirror, it can operate in our visible light spectrum.

Not true. Telescope mirrors are specialized, not the same as your bathroom mirror. It's the coating on the glass that gives its spectrum viewing capacity. Certain coatings are better than others in a particular spectrum. Unfortunately, there is no "one-size-fits-all" coating. Aluminum preforms well in the visible spectrum, but does not reflect IR or UV very well. If I remember correctly, gold reflects IR the best, so if that's the intended application, the mirror most likely will be coated with gold.

RE: What hubble successor?
By Ringold on 5/15/2007 10:20:57 PM , Rating: 3
Everybody ought to do some critical thinking.

The budget? It's big. It's really astoundingly incomprehensibly big. There are hundreds of agencies doing thousands of different, expensive things. Meanwhile, tax revenue has reached an all-time high, and assuming the Bush tax cuts are kept, will be in surplus in 2012. Not that slight (in terms of % of GDP) budget deficits are even bad; they give financial markets something to chew on, called bonds, without doing any harm to the economy as a whole.

With this astoundingly huge budget, and astoundingly huge tax base, in a country with an astoundingly massive amount of income, we have this luxury of DOING MORE THAN ONE THING AT ONCE, FFS. Jamacia? Probably can't do much more than one large project at once. 13 trillion dollar United States? A little different.

We can feed millions on welfare, millions on food stamps, provide for the health of millions on Medicaid and Medicare, and even provide for housing for millions on subsidized housing -- while still operating NASA, inspecting food, fighting wild fires. (Yes, hippies, whining about not having troops at home to fight disaster has fallen flat as Florida has more than it can even use, with 13,000 in reserve) And beyond all that, yes, we can even carry on war. The only way anyone would even know we're at war is to visit a major airport hub and look at all the people in uniform going to and fro. NASA's budget could be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled, and it'd be a mere rounding error compared to the sums spent on Social Security payments.

Bringing up Iraq just show's there's a lot of liberals that need to go have a drink, meet a girl, or do something to otherwise reduce their insane angst. No logical reason in the least for the war in Iraq to even be appearing here; there's no connection in the least, not even a distant one, and in truth their budgets have nothing to do with each other UNLESS it's MADE political by one party or the other with some insane application of unsound political grandstanding "pay as you go" bull or some such trickery.

RE: What hubble successor?
By maven81 on 5/16/2007 4:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... I don't know which mythical country you're talking about, but it's not the one we live in. If it would be so easy
to theoretically quadruple the NASA budget, why are they struggling to get even a fraction of that approved every year?
The war has no economic impact... really? Then why is the military facing a shortage of funds in the first place? If you were correct the Apollo program never would have been killed and we would have had moon bases by now.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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