|This image obtained from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows the Andromeda Galaxy. (QMI Agency/AFP)
OTTAWA - NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will use Canadian technology to peer further than ever into the final frontier when it begins its mission, scheduled for 2018.
The Canadian Space Agency will soon deliver two critical components for the JWST - an ultra-precise guidance sensor and a spectrograph to find even the faintest objects in space.
"This technology may help find the next habitable planet our universe," Industry Minister Christian Paradis said Wednesday. "Once again, Canada's space sector is pushing the frontier of what is possible."
The JWST will orbit Earth at a distance of 1.5 million kilometres, giving it a unique ability to study the first stars to form after the creation of the universe through the Big Bang.
COM DEV International built the components at its facilities in Ottawa and Cambridge, Ont., employing 200 scientists, engineers and technicians at the height of the project.
"Out of the hundreds of satellites we've worked on, this is absolutely the hardest thing that we've ever done," COM DEV president David Lizius said.
Designing and building the components cost taxpayers $146 million over 10 years.
The JWST will take over from the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been in orbit since 1990.