Universe Today Podcast

Episode 594: Building Space Telescopes... In Space

November 26th, 2019  •  12 mins 13 secs  •  Download (11.2 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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When it comes to telescopes, bigger is better. That’s true down here on Earth, and it’s especially true out in space. As astronomers and engineers design the next generation of giant space telescopes, they’re running up against the limits of current launch providers. There are only so many ways you can fold a huge telescope to get it to fit inside a 5-meter launch fairing.

The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope is pretty much the very limit of what you can construct on Earth and put into space in a single launch. To go bigger, space agencies will need to consider assembling their next-generation space telescopes… in space.