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  1. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a real-world physical product, system, or process, serving as its digital counterpart for purposes such as simulation, integration, testing, monitoring, and maintenance. The concept originated from NASA in 2010 as an attempt to improve the physical-model simulation of spacecraft. Digital twins exist throughout the entire lifecycle of the physical entity they represent and are the underlying premise for Product Lifecycle Management. In the manufacturing industry, digital twin technology is being extended to the entire manufacturing process, allowing benefits such as virtualization to be extended to domains such as inventory management, machinery crash avoidance, tooling design, troubleshooting, and preventive maintenance. Digital twinning also enables extended reality and spatial computing to be applied not just to the product itself but also to all of the business processes that contribute towards its production.
  2. The article discusses the use of digital twins in scientific research, with a focus on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Engineers at Raytheon, the company responsible for JWST's software and flight operations, created a digital twin of the telescope to monitor its complex deployment in space and to help troubleshoot any problems that might arise. The digital twin updates itself daily with 800 million data points and is used to train operators, predict the effects of software updates, and troubleshoot issues. The concept of digital twins was first introduced by Michael Grieves in 2002, and the term was popularized by NASA employee John Vickers in 2010. As technology has advanced, digital twins have become more common in both the defense and scientific industries, with the space industry being a particular area where the two sectors converge. The JWST's digital twin is just one example of how these twins are helping scientists run the world's most complex instruments and revealing more about the world and the universe beyond.

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