NASA refused to rename its $10 billion technological marvel, the James Webb Telescope, amid ongoing controversy.
Decades ago, former NASA administrator James Webb went along with government discrimination against gay and lesbian employees.
Earlier this year, 1,200 astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts signed a petition urging NASA to rename the telescope. The petition came in the heels of previous reports that unconventional people were persecuted while working under Webb's leadership.
Following an investigation conducted by the space agency, NASA decided to keep the telescope's name still. However, they didn't divulge how they conducted the review, and they didn't also reveal the identity of the person who evaluated the findings.
"We have found no evidence at this time that warrants changing the name of the James Webb Space Telescope," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told NPR.
Senior science communications officer Karen Fox also wrote an email to the publication saying that they already did what they could at this point. And they have also exhausted all their research efforts.
Astronomers are awaiting the launch of the James Webb Telescope
Despite the ongoing controversy and backlash, thousands of people are still looking forward to the upcoming launch of the James Webb Telescope. The launch is scheduled for Dec. 18.
The James Webb Telescope will be shot off millions of kilometers away from Earth to get a glimpse of the universe during its launch. The telescope is also being dubbed as the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope.
According to India Times, astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts are hoping to study the very first stars and galaxies in the universe using the James Webb Telescope.
Since the new telescope has a golden mirror, astronomers hope to catch a glimpse of the universe as no other telescope has ever done before.
Even though the Hubble Space Telescope also had a built-in mirror, the golden mirror for the James Webb Telescope is 100 times more powerful. It also has a diameter of 21.3 feet, which means it can capture six times more light than its predecessor.
The James Webb Telescope will also be taking photos using infrared imaging. This means that the telescope has the capacity to capture extremely old galaxies that are currently located farther from Earth.
The telescope will also be placed inside a rocket that will then be deployed far away from Earth in space. Once deployed, the telescope will be millions of kilometers away from Earth. The Hubble, on the other hand, was only 547 kilometers away from Earth.
NASA dubs the James Webb Telescope as the most powerful and complex
NASA described the James Webb Telescope as the largest, most powerful, and complex space telescope to have ever been built and launched into space.
"It will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe," NASA said on their website.
Photos of the stunning James Webb Telescope can also be viewed on NASA's website, together with all the other facts, updates, and news about their latest venture.