Event Detail

Dr. John Mather

James Webb Space Telescope: Science Opportunities and Mission Progress

The James Webb Space Telescope, the planned successor for the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, is making excellent technical progress. It will carry four instruments to cover the wavelength range from 0.6 to 28 ┬Ám with imaging, spectroscopy and coronography, and will have a deployable 6.5 m aperture telescope cooled to about 40 K. It will be launched by an Ariane 5 vehicle from French Guiana to reach an orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2.  Two of the flight instruments are delivered and in test, and all 18 of the beryllium primary mirror segments are finished. I will describe the scientific programs that future users are likely to propose, ranging from the first objects to form after the big bang, to the assembly of galaxies, the formation of stars, and the potential detection of planetary systems capable of supporting life. I will also outline the remaining work for the project, including testing the telescope and instrument package end-to-end at the gigantic vacuum chamber at Johnson Space Center, and developing and testing the deployable sunshield.


Dana Science Classroom-146

Event Type



Fabros, Susan L