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Five Impressive Space Exploration Technologies

There are plenty of problems associated with space travel and exploration, but there are also many minds working hard to solve those problems. Every day, NASA and its partners (which include many universities and corporations) are coming up with innovative ways to do what we want to do -and now, so are private space exploration companies. For example, we may soon be able to see much farther into the past than every before with NIRCam.

NIRCam stands for Near Infrared Camera, which refers to a collaboration between Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona to come up with an instrument capable of capturing images from billions and billions of years ago. While this can sound rather unbelievable, it is important to remember that heat was being generated throughout the universe at the time, which in turn, meant light shooting off in countless directions from countless places.

Combined with the limited speed of light as well as the continuing expansion of the universe, this meant that it is still possible to capture images from billions and billions of years ago so long as a camera is sensitive enough to pick up on that light as well as shielded from other light that can obstruct it from performing its intended function. Should the NIRCam prove to be a success, it could provide scientists with an incredible amount of information about the early universe, which remains one of the most mysterious and thus one of the most interesting periods known to us.

But that’s just the beginning. Read about other space exploration technologies you might not be familiar with at Money Inc.

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To see dinosaurs from 100 million years ago, you would need a telescope 100 million light years away. To resolve something ~10 m in size from that distance, it would need to be ~ 5 light years in diameter.

On an unrelated note, the article seems rather slapdash in terms of picking topics that are rather unrelated (cosmology research vs. human space travel), different timing (stuff already built vs. stuff decades or more away), and misleading pictures. For example, just skimming the Wikipedia article on the James Webb Space Telescope would give the reader far more info at various levels of detail, considering the project has much larger scope than just what was described above for the NIRcam detector. The Wikipedia article makes it clearer that the NIRcam (and the telescope as a whole) is good for viewing early galaxies, which is distinct from other space telescopes that measure the cosmic microwave background that comes from a much earlier time in the current understanding of the universe's history.
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Oh, what a wonderful thing if they could use it on Earth and view the dinosaurs! Don't know if it would be possible BUT just think if it was!
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