WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The next-generation James Webb space telescope will spend the next three months in a deep-freeze vacuum chamber to test whether it can operate in the temperature extremes of outer space, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) explained in a press release on Thursday.
"In space, the telescope must be kept extremely cold, in order to be able to detect the infrared light from very faint, distant objects," the release stated. "Chamber A will simulate an environment where the telescope will experience extreme cold — around 37 Kelvin (minus 236 degrees Celsius or minus 393 degrees Fahrenheit)."
To protect the telescope from external sources of light and heat, a tennis court sized sunshield will protect the scope’s instruments from temperatures close to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the release noted.
Unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, which orbits Earth, the Webb will circle the Sun at a distance of about 1 million miles from Earth, according to the NASA website.