Here’s What An $8.8 Billion Space Telescope Looks Like [PHOTO]

(Shutterstock/Vadim Sadovski)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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NASA released a new image of its $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) that is currently being assembled in Greenbelt, Md.

The picture, released Tuesday, shows NASA technicians moving the telescope with a crane into a clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. JWST’s golden hexagons collect light for the telescope and measure 21 feet wide.

JWST is scheduled to launch October 2018. NASA will park the telescope about 1 million miles from Earth to look at stars up to 13.5 billion years old. It will be the most powerful telescope ever built.

JWST main reflectors 
Credit: (NASA/Desiree Stover)

JWST will replace the Hubble Space Telescope. It is small compared to larger ground-based telescopes, but its infrared capabilities and position will allow it to look deep into space to find potentially habitable planets.

The Government Accountability Office estimated the JWST will take $8.8 billion to build as cost overruns and delays have plagued the project. The program is $7.2 billion over its initial budget and seven years behind schedule.

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