Move Over Hubble, NASA Unveils James Webb Space Telescope

Nov 22, 2016 04:58 AM EST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) proudly presented the James Webb Space Telescope to select members of the press last November 17 at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

After 20 years and a budget of colossal scale, $8.7 billion, NASA has finally completed arguably the best space telescope the space agency has ever had and the long-awaited successor of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, the New York Times reports.

Named after former NASA administrator from the 1960s, James Webb, the latest space telescope showcases 18 hexagonal mirrors of gold-coated beryllium, a collection known as the Optical Telescope element and Integrated Science (OTIS) assembly. It is seven times larger than the Hubble in light-gathering capacity and was specifically designed to see farther out in space and deeper into the universe's past.

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Dubbed by Nature magazine as "the telescope that ate astronomy," a House subcommittee once voted to scrap the James Webb Space Telescope project. NASA came under fire six years ago due to issues of mismanagement, overspending, and delays in the project. As a consequence other programs by the space agency has suffered, including a space telescope for dark energy, which has been delayed until 2025.

At the media event for James Webb Space Telescope, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said, "Some of you who have followed JWST know it almost didn't happen."

 "We have done what I have always said about NASA: we told people what we were going to do, we made a commitment of a schedule and time, and we have been on that for about six years now," he continued. "I think the story we have to tell, the record of performance that we have, should stand us in good stead," Space Review writes.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is set to hit the outerspace on October 2018.

Learn more about NASA's James Webb Space Telescope by watching this video:

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