CAPE COD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — When the James Webb Space Telescope is launched into space later this month, one resident on Cape Cod will be watching with an extra sense of pride.
Barry Smith worked at NASA for over 25 years before he retired and worked on both the Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Telescope. Smith spent six years working on the new James Webb Telescope which launches in December.
"It's very exciting to work on it for six years and to be working on the instruments with astrophysicists," Smith told WBZ's James Rojas. "This is going to be so exciting."
Smith said he first became interested in working for NASA after three employees came to his school in Westwood and spoke about their careers.
"To have that opportunity to go work for NASA has been very rewarding," Smith said.
The new James Webb Telescope is around 10 to 12 times more powerful than the Hubble and will be able to capture images of never-before-seen galaxies and stars formed after the Big Bang.
"We're going to be able to see to the very edge of our universe," Smith said.
Its mission will last between five and 10 years, according to NASA. Construction on the telescope began in 2004 and was completed earlier this year. The initial launch had to be delayed after an incident occurred involving the setup of the launch.
The telescope will launch from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana on Dec. 22.
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.