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  • The James Webb space telescope
  • seosamh77
    Free Member

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is planned to be launched by NASA on 22 December 2021. … Expected launch time: 12.20pm GMT (7.20am EST).

    So this thing launches next week, couple of small questions…. 😆

    Will it discover life on exo-planets?

    And will it figure out the origin of the Universe?

    kimbers
    Full Member

    Yes
    No

    mashr
    Full Member

    Please don’t blow up, please don’t blow up…..

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I bloody love science like this.

    muddy@rseguy
    Full Member

    JWST…

    over $10Bn..

    with only 344 potential single-point failures, any of which could doom the project…

    80% of these are to do with the deployment phase…

    Being deployed to an L2 orbit beyond the Moon so out of range of any human or indeed robot servicing mission (unless there is a very daring deep space mission done later this decade)

    er…

    Eek!

    I predict a few weeks of very squeaky bottom time for a lot of Nasa/ESA/CSA personnel.

    Currently due to launch on the 24th and if it works it will be truly awesome.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    My brother-in-laws wife will be at Launch Control (she’s a pretty senior member of the team at Northrop Grummond (sp.) as part of the launch team – he was very involved (designing the starshade) but he’s at home with their little girl (with help from granny and granddad who have flown out to LA).

    To say the rest of us are very, very excited is a slight understatement.

    Pyro
    Full Member

    A friend of mine is one of the team who built the JWST. I’ve loved watching his update posts, and same as Johndoh, very excited!

    johndoh
    Free Member

    @kimbers

    You have it the wrong way around – they pretty well much know it should see to the dawn of time (edit – the first nuclear actions that brought about light) but they aren’t looking for ET.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    Pyro – at NG in LA?

    johndoh
    Free Member

    One of the most beautiful things about it is that the mirror opening mechanism was inspired by nature and the Fibonacci sequence. Basically just like a fern unfolding.

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    johndoh
    Free Member

    @kimbers

    You have it the wrong way around – they pretty well much know it should see to the dawn of time (edit – the first nuclear actions that brought about light) but they aren’t looking for ET.

    It’ll be able to peer into the atmospheric composition of exo planets I think. Might not be definitive, but should lead to some interesting hints atleast.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    I agree, but that isn’t (as far as I understand – I play more GT3 with them when we get to see them) – the primary mission is to see to the dawn of light.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Well I can’t claim any connection to it, personal or familial, but I’m about as excited by this as I was for Apollo 11. We have to wait 6 months for images though.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    mashr
    Free Member

    Please don’t blow up, please don’t blow up…..

    I’m putting 20 scottish pence on a succesful launch then it fails to deploy properly leading to a long horrible drawn out waiting game over the course of months.

    supernova
    Full Member

    This is a really cool machine. Not the way the scientists judge these things, but very, very cool.

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    Northwind
    Full Member
    mashr
    Free Member

    Please don’t blow up, please don’t blow up…..

    I’m putting 20 scottish pence on a succesful launch then it fails to deploy properly leading to a long horrible drawn out waiting game over the course of months.

    There’ll be no drawn out waiting game, it’s deploying a million miles from earth at the Lagrange point, if it doesn’t work, the games a bogey!

    It’s also only got fuel for 5-10 years. So that’s its lifetime, hubble will outlast it.

    Though, I do wonder why they didn’t just design a refuelling mission?

    maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    but they aren’t looking for ET.

    Neither was Eliot. Found him though.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    Anyway, I don’t want to get drawn into arguments – I am just so proud that my wife’s brother and his wife have been (for the last 15 years or so) pretty significant people in the development. I just hope it works 😬

    Northwind
    Full Member

    seosamh77
    Full Member

    There’ll be no drawn out waiting game, it’s deploying a million miles from earth at the Lagrange point, if it doesn’t work, the games a bogey!

    Yeah but like with mars probes etc there’s always the “we’ll try another approach” “maybe if we send another mission up with a robot leg to kick it”. It’s never “ah well we tried to deploy it and it failed so that’s it folks”, it always drags on, unless it explodes

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Though, I do wonder why they didn’t just design a refuelling mission?

    It is theoretically possible to refuel but it isn’t planned for. An alternative approach is apparently to have a robot device with a motor and fuel attach using the Arianne docking ring and use that to to control JW.

    Pyro
    Full Member

    Pyro – at NG in LA?

    Johndoh – yep. Now out in Guyana for the launch I believe

    Kuco
    Full Member

    Part of the James Webb mission is to look for exoplanets with the potential for life.

    big_scot_nanny
    Full Member

    They must be shitting bricks about every stage of this, also very excited to see what happens.

    The recent mars lander was pretty epic, and before that the Cassini/Huygens mission was fabulous. Didn’t it have to aim for the gap in the rings during it’s deceleration burn, which of course it did perfectly?

    Almost as excited about this as I was about William Shatnerpants going up in Bezos’ penis rocket… 😉

    I really hope this thing works!

    scuttler
    Full Member

    I have no involvement in this but it’s making me anxious 😬

    For anyone new to this topic here’s the full scale mock up that’s what needs launching and autonomously unpacking once in space

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    slowoldman
    Full Member
    Though, I do wonder why they didn’t just design a refuelling mission?

    It is theoretically possible to refuel but it isn’t planned for. An alternative approach is apparently to have a robot device with a motor and fuel attach using the Arianne docking ring and use that to to control JW.

    Interesting ta, aye seen it has a docking ring so makes sense.

    Did read that the fuel on board is a guaranteed 5 years, but probably likely to last 10 or more years.

    nuke
    Full Member

    Moved to Christmas eve 🤞🤞🤞

    https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/countdown.html

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Did read that the fuel on board is a guaranteed 5 years, but probably likely to last 10 or more years.

    For the $10bn cost that does seem a bit of a short life…..

    johndoh
    Free Member

    Johndoh – yep. Now out in Guyana for the launch I believe

    Hah – they probably know each other then (well they will soon if not yet). She hasn’t flown out yet (I think she is now going out on 20th Dec assuming no more delays.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    Part of the James Webb mission is to look for exoplanets with the potential for life.

    I am sure it is, but the primary mission is as I mentioned above – to explore the events immediately after the Big Bang, the first light, the first formation of planets etc.

    neilforrow
    Full Member

    Keeping everything crossed for the team and a successful launch / deployment.

    All the work that lets us put our relative position in the universe into perspective really does have 100% merit IMO.

    My dog is called Hubble, but if I get another, calling it James Webb doesn’t have the same ring tho…

    johndoh
    Free Member

    ^ Get a pet tarantula and call it Webb

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    johndoh
    Free Member
    ^ Get a pet tarantula and call it Webb

    jeenyis! 😆

    Kuco
    Full Member

    Yes, but in your post, you sounded like you weren’t sure. I was just confirming the search for exoplanets was part of its mission. This is the part of the mission I’m interested in and not the big bang.

    I have been following the development of this for a long time and even mentioned the telescope in the ‘Why is it imperative for the human race to survive?’ thread last month.

    kennyp
    Free Member

    Though, I do wonder why they didn’t just design a refuelling mission?

    That surprised me when I heard about it. Ten years isn’t much of a lifetime. I’m guessing (although from a baseline of having very little knowledge) that if it deploys successfully and starts to bring in useful data then a way will be found to refuel.

    Fingers crossed for a good launch; so many people have put so much hard work into this.

    kennyp
    Free Member

    Oh and Lego are considering a proposal that the JWST be one of their forthcoming space models.

    futonrivercrossing
    Free Member

    First light is 100 million years after the Big Bang.

    dannybgoode
    Full Member

    At least the JWST isn’t going to be affected by the one thing you can be guaranteed of as an amateur astronomer when you buy some new kit. Cloud!

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    futonrivercrossing
    Free Member
    First light is 100 million years after the Big Bang.

    between 240,000 and 300,000 years

    johndoh
    Free Member

    First light is 100 million years after the Big Bang

    It is. And that is pretty well much a blink of an eye in the lifetime of the universe.

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Amazing bit of science isn’t it?

    I had no idea it had such a relatively short lifespan though, due to fuel limitations.

    What type of fuel are we talking here guys?

    Cheers.

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