NASA has said that it will not rename the James Webb Space Telescope. The space agency said that it has no intention to rename the instrument. The clarification came in the wake of controversies involving the name of the telescope. The telescope is branded as a technological marvel. It is touted to be the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope. The new telescope is more powerful and can provide a breakthrough in the understanding of the universe. The telescope is set to be launched in December this year. It will be launched atop Ariane 5 rocket. Once launched, James Webb Space Telescope will become the most powerful, largest, and complex space telescope ever launched by any agency.
NASA named the telescope after former administrator James Webb. But it mired in controversy after some pointed that James Webb supported the government’s discrimination against gay and lesbian employees. He had served as NASA administrator from 1961 to 1968. NASA said that it launched a probe into the matter when it learned about it. It didn’t find any evidence. Therefore, it decided not to rename the telescope. The telescope was originally known as the Next Generation Space Telescope. But the agency renamed it in September 2002. The controversy started after astronomers and others petitioned the space agency for renaming the instrument. They argued that Webb during his service had prevented homosexual people from getting jobs.
Petitioners even cited evidence in their application. They said that Clifford Norton was fired in 1963 from the agency. Webb was the administrator at that time. Following this, NASA ordered an investigation into Webb’s conduct. NASA in a statement said that the probe failed to uncovered concrete evidence that could lead to changing the name of the James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope is a joint project by NASA, ESA, and CSA. According to NASA, the observatory can look back in time. It can see the first stars. Astronomers believe that the James Webb Space Telescope will open new avenues of investigation for scientists to understand the Universe and search for alien worlds.