Scientists are poised to knock on God’s door and ask, “Are you there?”

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo
6 min readJan 2, 2022

On that day that pagans of ancient Rome celebrated the birth of Mithra, their sun god, the same day that Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, scientists took their most daring step yet in making eye contact with God.

On Christmas day, while you were with family and friends eating Jollof rice, drinking Hero beer, dancing to the music of Portable Zazu, and sharing what some consider the highlight of humanity’s return to sanity -images of Muslims who attended Christmas service in Kaduna, NASA scientist at French Guiana launched a telescope called James Webb Space telescope.

When it reaches its orbit, the telescope will be man’s most advanced eye in a fast-expanding universe. Through this new eye, we hope to gaze into God’s eyes and see exciting things that will open a new era of discovery of things we have never imagined. These are things the writers of our most cherished holy books never imagined, too. We are talking about the possibilities of discovering omissions more gigantic than the non-inclusion of the dinosaur in the Bible, the Koran, and other holy books.

After years of setbacks, on that Christmas’ morning, a European Ariane rocket lifted Webb telescope off the coast of South America unto a journey of one million miles. It will take the telescope one month to reach its orbit at the Lagrange point, where gravitational forces of the earth and sun balance. It is this minimal force area that will keep the telescope afloat.

The distance is four times farther away from us than Earth to the moon. It will take five months before the telescope will open its eyes, sophisticated infrared eyes, and begins to scan the cosmos for expected unknown and unknown expected.

At 70 feet by 46 feet, almost the size of a tennis court is a five-layered sunshield that protects the James Webb space telescope’s light-gathering mirror and heat-sensing infrared detectors. These detectors must be at minus 450 degrees to function. At the cost of 10 billion dollars, it is the largest and most powerful telescope ever sent to space. NASA built the telescope in partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies. Thousands of people from 29 countries have been working on this 7-ton telescope since the 1990s…

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is the author of "This American Life Sef."