NASA trying to keep part of its giant telescope secret

NASA trying to keep part of its giant telescope secret

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) is apparently trying to keep a part of the world’s largest space telescope secret.

The U.S. space agency announced the completion of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) during a pres conference at its Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) on Wednesday. The agency also released a video about the telescope on Google’s video-sharing platform YouTube.

In the video, a crucial part of the JWST was blurred out beyond recognition. When the blurred image of the telescope’s part was provided to NASA representative Lynn Chandler, and asked why this part was blurred out, Chandler said the technology in question is proprietary.

Responding to the query, Chandler said, “This technology is proprietary. The government must respect the intellectual property of its industry partners … That is the secondary mirror support structure with the secondary mirror on it which includes details of mirror mounts.”

The NASA representative also declined to reveal which company manufactured the blurred-out part, saying that information is an International Traffic in Arms Regulations [ITAR] issue.

It took more than 20 years for an international team of scientists and engineers to complete the construction of the JWST, at cost of $8.7 billion. It is expected to be launched in October 2018.


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