The James Webb space telescope is ready to launch

There are high expectations placed on the James Webb space telescope, the largest and most powerful space telescope to be sent into space. The telescope is a hundred times more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble space telescope, orbiting at about 547 kilometers (340 miles) above Earth. The Webb telescope will be launched on December 18, 2021 from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, in the French Guiana. It will travel for one month before reaching its destination, the Lagrange point or L2. During this month, the telescope will unfold the “petals” of its gold-coated mirror, measuring 6.5 meters in diameter, and the sunshields, because Webb uses infrared cameras that need to operate at very low temperatures. When the calibration of the intruments is ready, Webb will be used by scientists from around the world, helping them answer questions about the origin of the universe.

The Webb telescope will operate 24/7 during the next five years, but scientists hope to keep Webb operating for up to ten years. During the third episode of the 4i-magazine podcast, Antonella Nota, a Project Scientist for the James Webb space telescope at ESA, the European Space Agency, shares interesting information about this new and powerful instrument that will look at how stars form, evolve and die, expecting to revolutionize the field of astronomy. The Webb telescope is a collaborative effort of NASA, ESA and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).

Who was James E. Webb:

Federica Bressan is a researcher and science communicator. She holds two MDs in Music and Musicology and a PhD in Computer Science. The vision underlying her work concerns the co-evolution of technology and culture. As a Marie Curie and Fulbright researcher, she has published 30+ peer-reviewed articles, chaired international events, and guest edited a special issue of the Journal of New Music Research. As communicator, she conducts video interviews and hosts the podcast Technoculture, and writes about science and society. Visit Federica's podcast at: