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Current Affairs

James Webb telescope renaming controversy

Date: 30 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The infrared James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is set to be launched by NASA. It will be the most important space observation tool in the upcoming decade.

 

Details

  • The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is considered as the successor of Hubble space telescope.

  • It will be studying formation of solar system, evolution of universe, phases and history of solar system and other secrets.

 

The controversy

  • James Webb, on whose name the telescope is named, is accused of persecuting homosexuals when he was working in the government.

  • NASA has to decide if they will have to rename the telescope before any controversy erupts. At present, NASA has not shortlisted any alternate names.

 

The start

  • Several astronomers had launched an online petition for changing the name of the telescope as James Webb did not deserve such an honour for his misdeeds.

  • They say that Webb had fired or forced to resign homosexual employees from the federal service when he was serving in the government. It was part of the federal policy.

 

Other opinion

Several other astronomers say that there is no enough evidence to suggest role of Webb in such incidents. It should not be hurriedly carried out.

 

Contributions of Webb

Webb’s tenure in NASA was marked with more than 75 important launches and missions that included probes to Venus and Mars.