"Space is where we are looking for hints about where we, and the whole Earth, came from"by John Mather / June 13, 2018 / Leave a comment
When I first heard about humans and space, it was terrifying, because it was in the context of possible war between the USSR and US. But now I work for Nasa, at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, and I help design ways to measure the things in outer space, from nearby planets to the Big Bang itself. Space is where we are looking for hints about where we, and the whole Earth, came from.
I’m the lead scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be far larger and more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, and when it is launched in 2020 it will help us track down those hints. We’ll be looking at our history, from the formation of the first stars, galaxies, and black holes when the expanding universe was only a few hundred million years old, to the formation of stars and planets nearby, to the story of our own solar system. The project is an international partnership led by Nasa, with the European and Canadian Space Agencies, and many industrial partners and research institutes, including the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh. Europe is providing the Ariane 5 rocket.