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New telescope as big as a tennis court

HOUSTON – A major new space telescope, the James Webb, has once again been delayed. The launch of the probe is deferred for two years. He goes on his earliest early 2021, the space in and not next year, as intended.

The James Webb is being developed by Europe, the United States and Canada together. He should be the successor of the Hubble, which is already nearly thirty years old. The James Webb will search for planets where perhaps life is possible, to distant galaxies and traces of the big bang. He is about as big as a tennis court. The core is a 6.5-metre-wide mirror of gold and beryllium. That captures the light from the room. The mirror is three times as great as that of the Hubble.

The development of the space telescope is difficult. It was first intended that he already had in 2007 would be launched, but that is almost every year shifted. “We have here on earth in order before we get to the space. And I want to emphasize: Webb is worth the wait”, said director Thomas Zurbuchen of the American space agency NASA.

Bolts lose

It takes more longer than expected to bring all new technologies on board to test. In addition, there are human errors made. So there were cracks in a sunscreen. In a vibration test shots seventy bolts. They fell, in the telescope, and a few are still not recovered.

The James Webb since 1996 worked. The project costs a total of more than 8 billion euro.

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