Progress with NASA’s Webb Space Telescope is moving right along and it will be tested in their giant vacuum chamber in Houston, Texas. The vacuum chamber was originally used to test out the space crafts used in the Apollo space missions in the late 60’s, but has recently been given an overhaul. Since the Webb Telescope will be working much farther away from Earth than the Hubble Telescope, it will be operating in some extremely cold conditions. The vacuum chamber can not only transform 25 tons of air into the volume of half of a staple, but it can also reach temperatures of negative 440 degrees Fahrenheit. When the testing will be conducted the vacuum chamber will be the coldest place on Earth.
These cold temperatures are needed to simulate the harsh environment of space. It is also of paramount importance that everything is thoroughly tested, and works, on the telescope because it cannot be easily operated on like the Hubble Telescope since it will be so much further away. The Webb Telescope is also being worked on in a very large clean room facility.
The Webb Telescope is the successor to the popular Hubble Space Telescope. It is designed to look at distant planets stars and galaxies and has infrared capabilities.
To learn more about the Webb Telescope click here.