Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Webb Telescope Could Lead to Improvements in CLs

"The latest to speak up for the JWST [James Web Scott Telescope] is Scott Willoughby, guest-blogging at Scientific American. Willoughly has a vested interest, as the vice president and program manager for the JWST program at Northrup-Grummon contracted by NASA to build the thing," according to a Discovery post. But he still makes a strong argument in favor of the mission, citing the creation of high-tech jobs in the aerospace industry -- currently facing a potential shortage as the older generation of scientists and engineers retire -- and improvements in MRI technology for cancer imaging, for starters.
Then there's the inevitable spinoff technologies that result from project of this size and scope, including infrared instruments and temperature control systems, not to mention optics. For instance, anyone who wears corrective lenses or is considering laser surgery for vision correction will be thrilled to hear that all that work developing the JWST's 18 mirrors and wavefront sensing technology has led to several new patents for making more accurate eye measurements and fabricating more precise contact lenses." Read more.

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