Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space Science

NASA Names Next-Generation Space Telescope 24

Posted by timothy
from the orbiting-observatory-by-any-other-name dept.
Betelgeuse writes: "The Trek-obsessed people over at NASA have let go of the somewhat unwieldy name for the next major space-based optical observatory (formerly the 'Next Generation Space Telescope'). The space-based observatory will be known as the James Webb Space Telescope, named after James E. Webb, NASA's second administrator. While Webb is best known for leading Apollo and a series of lunar exploration programs that landed the first humans on the Moon, he also initiated a vigorous space science program, responsible for more than 75 launches during his tenure, including America's first interplanetary explorers. In addition, they've also announced the builder: TRW, Redondo Beach, CA. The press release is here."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Names Next-Generation Space Telescope

Comments Filter:
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @02:24PM (#4230290) Homepage Journal
    (* ...My question is, what happens when things go awry? Frankly, the idea of an unservicable telescope doesn't suit me well. *)

    It seems space-telescope design is in a sticky delemma. If you put them in low earth orbit, they are shuttle-servicable. However, interference and changing shadows from Earth and Sun limit your observations. Thus, to get beyond what hubble-like scopes can do, they have to put them out far enough to be constantly in Earth's shadow at a distance.

    At that point servicing them via a manned mission gets really expensive, perhaps more than the scope.

    I am wondering why they can't launch remote-control repair robots. Sure, it takes longer than doing it by hand, but without life-support that is not really a concern AFAIK.

    Perhaps they can design it to be robot-service-able, such as special latches and screws designed for robotic utensiles.

    If NASA perfected such technology, then future probes could sometimes repair themselves. (Although distant probes would have to use only parts they already have aboard. The first duct-tape to leave the solar system :-)

    They could also use such technology to work on the ISS. What is so limiting about remote robots that they must send humans on expensive life-support to do it? A remote-controlled robot can do anything a human can, physical-wise, just at a slower pace. (I suppose some rare tasks may require performing some operation before certain opened-up internals get too much exposure or leakage or whatever.)

    Machines are usually cheaper to send than humans. Sure, astronauts may not like it, and it may be less "glory", but it has the potential to be far more economical.
  • The JEW? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Bowie J. Poag (16898) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @10:06AM (#4244315) Homepage


    Great, now the Arabs are gonna shoot it down.

    :)

    Cheers,

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA

Working...