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All systems go for testing Webb Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope
Engineers conduct a white-light inspection on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in the clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. (Credit: Chris Gunn / NASA)

After years of busted budgets and stretched timelines, NASA says its $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope is ready for testing and on track for launch in 2018.

The telescope, seen as a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is designed to capture images of the first galaxies ever formed and provide unprecedented data about planets circling distant stars.

“Today, we’re celebrating the fact that our telescope is finished, and we’re about to prove that it works,” Nobel-winning astrophysicist John Mather, the telescope’s senior project scientist, told reporters at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland today.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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