The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in October, 2018, is currently sitting in the world’s largest clean room at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This past week, the team working on the telescope lifted and turned it for the first time.
Next step: installing the telescope’s science instruments to the back of the mirrors!
Notice the telescope’s gold mirror surfaces. It doesn’t just look gold; it is a real gold coating on the beryllium mirrors. NASA says the large primary and rounded secondary mirror on this telescope are specially designed to reflect infrared light.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.