If all goes well, in 2018, the James Webb Telescope will make a one million mile trek to the second Lagrange point — one of five gravitationally stable where the pull from the Earth and Sun are roughly equal relative to each other. Once there it’ll begin deploying a sunshield to further protect the telescopes sensors from the sun’s interference. Sometime later we should start getting regular super-high resolution pictures of the oldest things in our universe.You might have noticed that I’ve been saying things like “should” a bunch. The reality is that space travel is risky and it doesn’t always work out. The Hubble, for example, had a rather famous defect with its main mirror. Thankfully, because it was close to Earth, we were able to fix the problem in short order. If James Webb encounters a problem, though, it’ll be many times farther than any human’s ever been from Earth. We wouldn’t even have a craft capable of fixing the telescope for years. Plus James Webb cost $9 billion. So it’s really, REALLY important we get this right.If we do though, and if all goes as planned we’ll not only be able to peer back into the earliest moments of our universe but determine the chemical composition of planets around nearby stars. All those maybe Earths we keep finding? We could potentially tell if some of them have life or at least could really support it. Here’s hoping it all goes well. Hubble is one of the most important telescopes in history. It showed us so much of the universe around us and has been credited with keeping the public’s imagination about space alive — and peppering basically all media since with sprawling nebulae. But space telescope is almost 30 years old at this point. It’s had a good run, but it’s about time we made some upgrades. That’s the idea behind the forthcoming James Webb Telescope.NASA released the photo above this week. It shows the completed mirror assembly for the massive telescope. It uses 18 smaller, precisely calibrated hexagonal dishes to complete the main mirror body. This amounts to a 6.5-meter dish that can collect a tremendous amount of light which will allow astronomers to see fainter objects further back in time than ever before.The telescope is still under construction, but this week marks an important milestone. The body of the telescope is now complete, and it will now be moved from the Goddard Flight Center in Maryland to Houston. There it’ll be carefully examined and screened to make sure it’s ready for space.When all that’s set, the final satellite will be transported to French Guinea to launch from the European Space Agency’s spaceport there. The position is ideal because rockets deployed from near the equator get an effective push thanks to the Earth’s rotation.