'Super Hubble' is almost ready! World's biggest space telescope that could spot alien life passes key simulation tests ahead of its launch next year

Mail Online | 1/11/2018 | Phoebe Weston For Mailonline
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Nasa's James Webb Telescope that could spot extra-terrestrial life has completed a critical series of tests in anticipation of its launch in early summer 2019.

The $8.8 billion (£6.5bn) telescope has been successfully tested in a giant vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Centre - proving it will function in deep space.

Engineers - Starlight - Focus - Targets - Completion

Engineers are now confident it will be able to capture starlight in focus and track astronomical targets describing the completion of tests as a 'significant milestone'.

The telescope went through 100 days of cryogenic testing where temperatures dipped hundreds of degrees below the freezing point to ensure it functioned in extreme cold.

Completion - Test - Milestone - JWST - Bill

'The successful completion of this test represents a very significant milestone for JWST', said Bill Ochs, the telescope project manager.

'It verified the alignment of the telescope to the science instruments, the image quality of the telescope as well as confirming the thermal performance of the telescope', he said, writes CBS News.

NASA - Partners - Telescope - Set - Science

'We now have verified that NASA and its partners have an outstanding telescope and a spectacular set of science instruments', he said.

To detect infrared light from faraway objects, the telescope must be kept very cold, according to Nasa.

James - Webb - Telescope - Instruments - Operating

The James Webb Telescope and most of its instruments have an operating temperature of roughly 40 Kelvin – about minus 387 Fahrenheit (minus 233 Celsius).

But, the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) must be kept even colder.

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