James Webb Space Telescope on Track for March 2021 Launch, NASA Says

Jan 6, 2020
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$9.8 billion??? That's the cost of an aircraft carrier. I just can't understand how NASA can justify that kind of cost for a spacecraft.
 
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Jan 6, 2020
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It's a state of the art telescope, not so much an aircraft. The data (not to mention gorgeous images) we gathered from the Hubble are priceless and that baby is old tech.

I'll take a new telescope over aircraft carrier any day.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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It's a state of the art telescope, not so much an aircraft. The data (not to mention gorgeous images) we gathered from the Hubble are priceless and that baby is old tech.

I'll take a new telescope over aircraft carrier any day.
I'm curious, and I am not trying to be confrontational so please don't take my comment that way, how this telescope (or Hubble for that matter) will help us on Earth? I don't see the correlation between astronomy and how that can affect our lives here. I can see the parallels of flights to other celestial bodies (moon, Mars, asteroids, etc) because the science that is conducted there can have a direct effect on our lives. Science aboard the ISS is similar. Findings there can affect our lives tremendously. But I don't see the same with a big telescope. Can you help me understand it more?
Thanks
 
Jan 8, 2020
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Astronomy research is behind many of your everyday tech widgets starting with the cameras on your iphone. Astronomers were the first one to require digital record of the intensity in images. So they worked very hard for many years to get that tech to a functional non-noisy state. Hundreds of millions of $ has been spent on detector developement in JWST. This techno may make its way into a future iphone in 20 years from now for sensing toxic residus on food at the grocery store. Same is true for spectral decomposition of the incoming light which is already revolutionising the way we monitor agriculture field from space, contamination in our waters or analysing atmosheric storm patterns. Astronomers are very intelligent people and very passionate about the perpective of new findings about the universe (size, composition, past & future) as if they get closer to god by doing so. They acheive most of their science through a very small amount of photons received from the cosmos which they dissect in all possible ways (space, time, wavelength, polarisation state) with MUCH care. As a result, their optical tools are the most sofisticated of any field in optics.
 

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