NGST: Observing the first light in the Universe
Publication date: 01 Jan 2001
The Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) follows the highly successful Hubble Space Telescope (HST) with a scheduled launch late in this decade. NGST will be larger and more powerful than Hubble. The primary mirror will be 8 metres in diameter and capable of gathering ten times more light than Hubble. NGST will be launched into a special orbit that will keep it 1.5 million km from Earth (four times the distance to the Moon). By remaining in the shadow cast by a huge sunshield, NGST and its instruments will gradually cool to -240°C, giving the telescope an extraordinary sensitivity over a wide range of wavelengths in the infrared region of the spectrum.