The replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope will be tested at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Right now, a one-sixth model of the James Webb Space Telescope is on display across the street at Space Center Houston. Paul Spana is manager of exhibits at the center and that exhibit shows how it works.
“Demonstrate how the real telescope is folded up,” Spana says, “and more importantly, how it unfolds and how it deploys once it gets to its position out in space.”
The model is in Houston until April 15th. It's said to be about the size of a small compact car. The full-size telescope is more than 21 feet wide.
Before it is launched, the Webb will be tested at Vacuum Chamber-A at the Johnson Space Center. That chamber duplicates conditions in space.
"In terms of temperature, hot and cold extremes, and being a vacuum,” he says. “This will be the last place the telescope is tested prior to its launch.”
The new telescope should be launched after a couple of years of testing.
The model will be on public display through April 15 during what is being called the Ultimate Spring Break.