Can We Focus On Something Positive Please?
The media needs to cover topics that unite not divide humanity!
A few weeks ago, my husband and I watched a new NOVA episode on PBS on the James Webb Space Telescope. The segment aired just after photographs from the JWST, as it’s fondly called, were sent back detailing parts of space and objects never seen by man. But the episode was not about the photos. It was about the telescope itself and how large an undertaking it was to make, send into space, and have it work once it was where it was supposed to go.
And where is that exactly? Well, it’s on the far side of the moon!
Unlike its predecessor, the Hubble Telescope, (which I took interest in because it came from a place that I had previously worked — Johns Hopkins), it could not be reached after launching for repairs. It was just too far.
So, everything, from conception to design to launch, and activation once in space had to go right — the first time! There was no expedition that could go and fix mirrors or the origami-like shield or any of the hundreds of other checkpoints that had to work and work right the first time.
And guess what?! It did! Everything, all the hundreds of checks that needed to work…worked! That, of course, is how we got the stunning space photographs they show at the end of the segment.
This NOVA episode was one of the most uplifting shows we had seen in years! Why? Is it because we are space buffs? No. Is it because we are science nerds? Kind of! But the real reason the show was uplifting is that it took teamwork to make this project, a hugely expensive and risky project, successful!
The team that got the James Webb Space Telescope into space so it could successfully scan the heavens was diverse. It was multi-cultural. Scientists from all over the world worked on this project. You can easily see that from the show. Upon further investigation, I found that scientists, engineers, and technical experts from 14 countries worked on the telescope. (NASA 2022). It was a collaboration between, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
In the end, I asked my husband why the media — our media — here in the US has not focused more on…