NASA’s $10 Billion James Webb Space Telescope Is Having Problems With Its MIRI Instrument. This is what NASA said.
Despite a short run, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has provided us with countless stunning images. The space telescope was launched on December 25 last year. Although the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has only been in service for 2 months, the telescope has produced stunning images of various celestial bodies such as a Tarantula Nebula, globular cluster, Neptune’s rings and more, the telescope has now run into trouble.
According to NASA, the Mid-Infrared Instrument aboard the JWST is not functioning optimally due to a problem with one of the four observation modes. NASA said in a blog“On Aug. 24, a mechanism supporting one of these modes, known as medium-resolution spectroscopy (MRS), showed what appears to be increased friction while set up for a scientific observation.”
“This mechanism is a grid wheel that allows scientists to choose between short, medium, and longer wavelengths when making observations using the MRS mode. After preliminary health checks and investigations into the issue, an anomaly review committee was convened on Sept. best way forward,” the space agency added.
This isn’t the first time the $10 billion space telescope has encountered problems while in use. In June, the telescope was struck by a meteoroid that caused some damage to one of the telescope’s 18 mirror fragments, which had to be corrected by NASA to compensate for the damage. Despite not functioning optimally, the space telescope captured a stunning first image of Neptune yesterday using its NIRCam instrument.
What is the James Webb Space Telescope?
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is NASA’s brand new space telescope intended to succeed the aging Hubble Space Telescope that has been in service for more than 3 decades.
Costing nearly $10 billion and taking NASA nearly two decades to build, JWST is designed to capture the farthest reaches of the universe in search of the unknown.