MAGNA, Utah (ABC 4 News) - ATK is busy constructing the worlds largest space telescope in Magna. The James Webb Space Telescope will be at least 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope and open our view to never before seen planets and galaxies.
ATK engineers and technicians are constructing essentially the eye of the James Webb Space Telescope. It is the heart of the more than $8 billion NASA project.
Never in the history of the world has man-kind come so close to seeing so far away. The James Webb Space Telescope under construction in Magna will dwarf the accomplishments of the Hubble Telescope.
Hubble opened our eyes to deep space galaxies. Scientists hope the James Webb will reveal the very edges of our Universe.
"Look back to the time of the big bang 13.8 billion years ago and better understand the formation of galaxies, stars and planets," said the James Webb Space Telescope Program Manager, Bob Hellekson.
The Hubble the size of a school bus with an 8 foot diameter mirror. The James Webb telescope is the size of a tennis court with a 21.3 foot diameter mirror.
The Hubble is 364 miles from the Earth's surface, but the James Webb will remain a million miles above the earth, which is far above the outer reaches of our atmosphere.
"The telescope will be such a game change in the world of astronomy that it's going to rewrite text books over and above what the Hubble Space Telescope has already provided," said Hellekson.
For now, the future of our World's understanding of deep space sits in a room in Magna.
The eye of the James Webb Telescope will remain in Magna for about three more months before NASA ships it off to Huntsville Alabama for more testing.
NASA will launch it into space in 2018 from French New Guinea, which is on the northern tip of South America and close to the earth equator. The location will allow the telescope to more efficiently sling shot to its destination in the Earth's shadow beyond our Moon.