Despite protests from many groups, NASA has no plans to rename the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which will launch later this year.
The telescope will park itself at the second Earth-Sun Lagrange point, where it will look upon the universe in just a few months, fingers crossed. The $10 billion scientific instruments will gaze at ancient galaxies, dust disks encircling stars, and the atmospheres of distant exoplanets, far from the noise and clutter of low Earth orbit. JWST can identify biosignatures that are consistent with extraterrestrial life.
NASA James Webb Space Telescope to Maintain Its Name
NASA turned down the petition, despite several accusations about Webb's bigotry against gay and lesbian employees in the 1950s and 1960s. He reportedly presided over the dismissal of homosexual government personnel, according to reports.
After being requested to alter the name, the space agency started inquiring into Webb's participation during the Lavender Scare. The inquiry, which is now complete, appears to have turned up nothing severe enough to warrant action.
"We have found no evidence at this time that warrants changing the name of the James Webb Space Telescope," NASA administrator Bill Nelson told NPR.
Apart from stating that NASA contacted historians on the subject, the space agency gave scant specifics. Karen Fox, a senior science communications officer at NASA, also shared Nelson's sentiments to NPR. She stated that they had done everything they could at this point and that their research efforts had been expended. However, those attempts "have not yielded evidence justifying a name change."
Why Was There a Petition to Change JSWT's Name?
The choice to name the telescope was made in 2002. However, some people criticized NASA's decision to name JSWT until 2015 that the name was criticized. Dan Savage, a relationship and blogger an LGBT rights activist, sparked the debate in his article: "Should NASA Name a Telescope After a Dead Guy Who Persecuted Gay People in the 1950s?"
Webb didn't simply adhere to the existing anti-gay biases, according to Savage, who was willing to keep the name. Webb, Savage said, reportedly enforced hate, destroying jobs and lives in the process.
The situation became more serious early this year after a petition was launched, which has now been signed by over 1,200 people. Given Webb's conduct, while working for the US State Department and NASA, the petition requested NASA rename the space telescope.
According to the petition, archival evidence demonstrated that Webb engaged in high-level talks regarding the development of his policy and related actions" and that "queer individuals were persecuted" "under Webb's leadership."
In March, an essay in Scientific American pushed vehemently for a name change, but to no avail.
James Webb Space Telescope Importance Explained
According to SciTechDaily, there are several reasons why NASA's big space telescope is a fantastic technology. Its capacity to detect developing planetary systems is one of them.
Researchers are now having difficulty identifying new planetary systems since these celestial body formations often take millions of years to complete.
The solar system is currently the only known planetary system in the Milky Way. Unique planetary systems are likely to occur outside the Milky Way since there are other galaxies.
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