< home >  2-7-2022  ------  

   - https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/jules-bergman-woman-and-frank-borman/nasm_A19751212000 

    I ask my husband - of 39+ years - to create an "ARTwork" - that included the JWST.  Here's what he came up with > "US and THEM" by Hans Neuhart:
   ...I chuckled when I saw it. Hans grinned and said "This is my Van Gogh interpretation."  


 Original SOURCE - of this information:  : https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/features/cosmic/farthest_info.html  

NASA Insignia National Aeronautics and Space Administration  :  Goddard Space Flight Center

Imagine the Universe!

The Cosmic Distance Scale

The Farthest Visible Reaches of Space

About the Image

Ultra Deep Field Location  < click to see larger >  [ imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/features/cosmic/images/udflocation.jpg ]

Current observations suggest that the Universe is about 13.7 billion years old. We know that light takes time to travel, so that if we observe an object that is 13 billion light years away, then that light has been traveling towards us for 13 billion years. Essentially, we are seeing that object as it appeared 13 billion years ago.

With every year that passes, our newest technology enables us to see further and further back.

The image used for this stop on our journey is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF). The UDF is one of the deepest views of the visible universe to date; certainly it was the deepest when it was originally created in in 2003-2004. There are approximately 10,000 galaxies in this view, which is a sort of "core sample" of a very narrow patch of sky near the constellation Fornax. The smallest, reddest galaxies in the image, of which there are about 100, are among the most distant known objects!

Ultra Deep Field

UDF, Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

The UDF looks back approximately 13 billion years (approximately between 400 and 800 million years after the Big Bang). Galaxies that existed in that time period would be very young and very different in structure and appearance than the grand spirals we see nearby today.

HST views the universe [ "Radiation Era"  ]

Image Credits: UDF - NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team. For UDF Location and Age of the Universe graphics: NASA

Information ALSO INCORPORATED from ( BY sUSAN) :

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/origins-of-the-universe#:~:text=The%20best%2Dsupported%20theory%20of,by%20an%20ancient%20explosive%20force < National Geographic - REQUIRES FEE



https://www.windows2universe.org/physical_science/physics/atom_particle/proton.html&edu=high  <  NATIONAL EARTH SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdPzOWlLrbE  < National Geographic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hryoONc4Pgo   <  BBC Ideas

What is the Farthest Known Object From Earth?

Update 02/03/16: Here are the newest candidates (as of September and May 2015 respectively) for farthest galaxy yet detected. EGS8p7 at more than 13.2 billion light years away, and EGS-zs8-1 at 13.1 billion light years away.

In December of 2012, astronomers announced a Hubble Space Telescope discovery of seven primitive galaxies located over 13 billion light years away from us. The results are from survey of the same patch of sky known as the Ultra Deep Field (UDF). This survey, called UDF12, used Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 to peer deeper into space in near-infrared light than any previous Hubble observation.

Why infrared? Because the Universe is expanding; therefore the farther back we look, the faster objects are moving away from us, which shifts their light towards the red. Redshift means that light that is emitted as ultraviolet or visible light is shifted more and more to redder wavelengths.

The extreme distance of these newly discovered galaxies means their light has been traveling to us for more than 13 billion years, from a time when the Universe was less than 4% of its current age.

Their discovery, which you can read more about in the NASA feature is exciting because it might give us an idea of how abundant galaxies were close to the era when astronomers think galaxies first started forming. (Phil Plait has a good column about this discovery too.)

Hubble Provides First Census of Galaxies Near Cosmic Dawn

Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the UDF 2012 Team

As of this writing it seems that one of the galaxies in this recent Hubble discovery may be a distance record breaker - it was observed 380 million years after the Big Bang, with a redshift of 11.9. This means the light from this galaxy (pictured below) left 13.3+ billion light years ago.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2012 (z=11.9 Candidate)

Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the UDF 2012 Team

Just under a month ago, the current candidate was this object: a young galaxy called MACS0647-JD. It's only a tiny fraction of the size of our Milky Way - and was observed at 420 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was 3 percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years. To spot this galaxy, astronomers used the powerful gravity from the massive galaxy cluster MACS J0647+7015 to magnify the light from the distant galaxy; this effect is called gravitational lensing.

The farthest detected galaxy?

Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Postman and D. Coe (STScI), and the CLASH Team

Earlier in 2012, with the combined power of NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes, as well as the use of gravitational lensing, a team of astronomers spotted what might then have been the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light from this young galaxy, MACS1149-JD, was emitted when our 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old.

NASA Telescopes Spy Ultra-Distant Galaxy Amidst Cosmic 'Dark Ages'

Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Zheng (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), and the CLASH Team

In 2010, a candidate for most distant galaxy was found in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. UDFy-38135539 is thought to be 13.1 billion light years away. There is more information in this article on Phil Plait's blog. I've used his labeled images:

Subaru Deep FieldSubaru Deep Field

The objects in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field may well be the farthest known objects, but there are other contenders.

They include a galaxy called Abell 1835 IR1916, which was discovered in 2004, by astronomers from the European Southern Observatory using a near-infrared instrument on the Very Large Telescope. The object is visible to us because of gravitational lensing by the galaxy cluster Abell 1835, which is between this object and us. This galaxy is thought to be about 13.2 billion light years away, which means it would date to about 500 million years after the Big Bang. Note though, that this find has not been verified by other instruments - the Spitzer Space Telescope tried in 2006 without success.

Abell 1835 by Hubble Space Telescope 3.18′ x 2′ view

Abell 1835 by the Hubble, Credit: NASA

Also in 2004, a team using both the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory discovered a galaxy that is believed to be about 13 billion years away from us. It was found when observing the galaxy cluster Abell 2218. The light from the distant galaxy was visible because of gravitational lensing. The very distant object is the one circled. For more information, check out this press release.

Abell 2218

Credit: European Space Agency, NASA, J.-P. Kneib (Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées) and R. Ellis (Caltech)

Then there's the infrared James Webb Space Telescope. If you recall, Hubble has near infrared capability, but not mid-infrared, and for objects with very high redshifts, to see these most distant of objects would require a powerful telescope with mid-infrared capability. JWST will be able to see back to the first luminous objects to be born after the Big Bang.

In fact, one of JWST objectives is to look even further back, to just 200 million years after the Big Bang. One model of galaxy evolution has the first galaxies forming then and we need JWST to test this theoretical prediction!

Simulated JWST Deep Field

Top panels: Hubble UDF. Bottom: Simulation of what a JWST Deep Field might look like. Credit: STScI

(Note: JWST will be able to see these first galaxies without the aid of gravitational lensing; gravitational lensing might allow us to see them better, but would not necessarily let us see further back in time.)

Distance Information

Some of the most newly detected objects may be over 13 billion light years away, as derived from a standard model of the Universe. However, a powerful new generation of telescopes, like the James Webb Space Telescope, will be needed to confirm the suspected distances of these objects.

When 13 billion light years is translated into kilometers, there are a staggering number of zeros - it comes out to approximately 123,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km.

As time progresses, so will our ability to see futher and further away - giving us insight on the very beginnings of the Universe's existence!

How do We Calculate Distances of This Magnitude?

At these distances, objects' redshifts are used, with and extension of Hubble's Law to the distant Universe. Here, we have to know the history of how rapidly the universe was expanding at each moment in time. This can be calculated from the amount of normal and dark matter and of dark energy. Try Prof. Wright's Javascript cosmology calculator at:

For more information on Hubble's Law, please read the section on finding distances to the Nearest Superclusters.

Why Are These Distances Important To Astronomers?

Scientists have estimated the age of the Universe to be 13.73 billion years old (with an uncertainty of about 120 million years). When we observe an object that is 13 billion light years away, we are essentially observing it as it was 13 billion years ago, when the Universe was young. Being able to see and thus hopefully understand the early Universe is important to understanding how it was formed. If we see back far enough, perhaps we will catch a glimpse of the first galaxies as they were just forming. Perhaps we will someday be able to see the first starts forming. Could we see even further back than that? Only time (and technology) will tell!

Travel Time

At the rate of 17.3 km/sec (the rate Voyager is traveling away from the Sun), it would take around 225,000,000,000,000 years to reach this distance. At the speed of light, it would take 13 billion years!

A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

   SOURCE: https://time.com/6127003/webb-space-telescope-discoveries/   

BY JEFFREY KLUGER   ( https://time.com/author/jeffrey-kluger/ ) 


French Guiana does not often get the chance to be the center of the world, to say nothing of the universe—or at least humanity’s understanding of it. But on Dec. 25, at 7:20 AM ET, the small, forested country on the forehead of South America became the center of things indeed, when a European Space Agency Ariane V rocket lifted off with a payload that represents $9.5 billion worth of hardware and 25 years of work, and on which the next generation of research into the origin of the cosmos depends. The spacecraft entrusted to the Ariane 5 was the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), NASA’s—and the entire astronomical community’s—follow-on to the aging Hubble Space Telescope, which has widely been considered the greatest space observatory ever built—until now, at least.

The Hubble’s work is most powerfully captured in the vast album of dazzling photos it’s sent back in the 31 years it has been flying. But those pictures also reveal its sole shortcoming: Hubble sees in the ultraviolet and visible spectrums, allowing it to peer approximately 13.4 billion years back in time—or just 400 million years after the Big Bang (because light from the cosmos can take a heck of a long time to reach us, looking up at the night sky is effectively looking into the past). A lot happened in those missing early years—galaxies began to form, stars began to flicker on—but the expanding universe and the great distance the light from that epoch is traveling to reach us cause its wavelength to stretch from the visible spectrum and into the infrared, to which Hubble and human eyes are blind. (  www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/multimedia/index.html  )

The infrared, however, is exactly the band in which the Webb was designed to see, pushing its sensitivity another 200 million years back, to 13.6 billion years ago, or just 200 million years after the Big Bang. That comparatively small improvement is enormously significant, opening the door to the universe’s babyhood—a period in which it matured spectacularly quickly.

“The difference between what Hubble and Webb will see is not like comparing someone who’s 70 years old to somebody who’s 71 years old,” says Scott Friedman, commissioning scientist for the Webb team. “It’s like comparing a baby who’s one day told to a baby who’s one year old, and that’s a huge difference.”

Webb had to overcome a lot of hurdles to get as far as it’s come. First proposed in 1995 with a predicted price tag of $500 million and a hoped-for launch date of 2007, it has repeatedly blown past budget limits and deadlines. The telescope had a near-death experience in 2012 when Congress threatened to pull funding, but the last-minute delivery of the mirror persuaded lawmakers to stay their hand, and Webb survived. There have been some last-minute delays, too—it was previously set to launch Dec. 22—and takeoff could be pushed back further still.

Before the telescope can begin its work, it will face technological hurdles, too. Unlike the Hubble, which flies in a snug Earth orbit barely 545 km (338 mi.) above the ground, Webb will have to travel 1.6 million km (one million mi.) from the planet, where it will station-keep in what’s known as a Lagrange point—a spot in space where the gravity of the Earth and the sun cancel each other out, allowing objects to circle around the invisible point as if they were orbiting a solid body like a planet. Also unlike the Hubble, which was small enough to fit comfortably inside a space shuttle’s cargo bay, the Webb is far too big to fit fully extended inside even the biggest rocket now flying, and will thus have to be folded multiple times, loaded aboard the Ariane and then unfold once in space.

“It’s like an origami object,” said Alphonso Stewart, the Webb deployment systems team leader, during a November NASA press conference. “Only we’ll do origami in reverse.”

Very much like the Hubble, however, the Webb promises to make astronomical history, kicking open the door to portions of the cosmos that until now have remained unseen, and revealing secrets about the birth of the universe that were once not just unknown, but unknowable. “There are all of these things that lurk out there that we haven’t even imagined,” says Klaus Pontoppidan, a Webb project scientist. “That is one of the things that makes it really, really exciting.”

The James Webb Space Telescope stands in the S5 Payload Preparation Facility (EPCU-S5) at The Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana on Nov. 5, 2021. - JODY AMIET—AFP/ Getty Images

It’s quiet now in mission control at the Space Telescope Science Institute on the Baltimore campus of Johns Hopkins University. As mission controls go, this is a small one—a dozen seats at a dozen consoles in a glassed-in room for the lead controllers, and at least an equal number in an auxiliary room. But on Dec. 24, the day before launch, the room filled with astronomers and engineers preparing for the 12-hour shifts they’ll be working once the Webb goes into operation. The first and biggest job they’ll have to do is the one of unfolding. Never mind simple reverse origami, this is a process that will take a full six months before the telescope is at last in place, deployed and ready to go about its work.

The JWST is especially complex due to the designs required for it to peer into the infrared. It’s easy to tell at a glance what the Hubble does, simply because it looks like a telescope—a metallic tube with a wide aperture at one end to admit light and a main mirror inside to gather up inflowing photons. The traditional tube shape serves as a shield, blocking out extraneous light that would flood and obscure the target image. The Webb is a different telescopic beast entirely. Observing in the infrared, it needs protection not from light but heat, which would ruin its vision as surely as light would Hubble’s. For that reason, the JWST has no housing at all. Its mirror flies open in space, atop a sun shield that protects it from solar radiation and the hundreds of degrees of heat to which the hardware would otherwise be exposed.

All by itself, the mirror is an extraordinary piece of engineering. Hubble’s mirror, which measures 2.4 m (7.9 ft) across, is a single, circular piece of highly milled and polished glass that, like the telescope itself, looks exactly like what it is. Webb’s is much more complex—a far larger 6.5 m (21.3 ft) across, and assembled from 18 separate hexagonal segments. The segments are made of beryllium—a metal that functions like glass but can be more highly shaped and polished—and covered in a thin layer of gold for reflectivity. NASA is fond of pointing out that while the gold covers the entire 25 sq. m (269 sq. ft) of the mirror, it is applied in such a thin layer that if it were peeled off and tamped down, it would be little bigger than a golf ball. The beryllium, meanwhile, is polished so smoothly that if it were expanded to the size of the United States, its biggest imperfection would be just a meter high. Each of the mirror segments can move in seven different directions—up, down, left, right, in, out and a diagonal tilt—to focus and refine the infrared energy being captured across the entire mirror surface.

“We have such a large primary mirror because what we want to do is look deep into the universe, so you need a bigger photon bucket,” says NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen.

That bucket has to stay cold—one reason the telescope is not in Earth orbit, where it would have to contend with the constant day-night-hot-cold cycle satellites experience as they circle the globe. But the sun still shines at the Lagrange points, and that’s where the Webb’s sunshield comes in. Roughly diamond shaped and as big as a tennis court, the shield is made of five layers of kapton, a foil-like film as thin as a human hair. On the outer layer, the side exposed directly to the sun, the temperature will be about 110º C (230º F, 383 Kelvin). On the inner layer, closest to the mirror, it will be -237º C (-394º F, 36 Kelvin).

“[The sunshield] is going to be irradiated by 200,000 watts of solar radiation and it should allow only about .02 watts through,” said Mike Menzel, the Webb team’s systems engineer, at the NASA press conference. “So if we’re suntan lotion, that would have an SPF of 10 million.” And both the mirror and the sunshield—plus the power-providing solar panel, the onboard computer, the maneuvering system and more—have to fold up small enough to fit into the Ariane 5’s payload bay, which measures less than 5 m (16 ft) across. The engineers designed the telescope so it is indeed neatly stowable, but the unstowing—and unfolding—is another job entirely.

Friedman’s role as the commissioning scientist means he is responsible for opening up and configuring the telescope over the course of the mission’s first six months. He and the rest of his team will have to work exceedingly carefully and exceedingly well. By the engineers’ calculations, the telescope’s unfurling process has a staggering 344 so-called “single point failures”—each involving a hinge, actuator, pulley or other system or procedure that, if it goes awry, could all by itself spell the end of the mission. Just one single point failure is a high-stakes thing with which to fly. More than one can be exponentially worse; 344 of them is flat-out hair-raising.

“There is some redundancy built into the system of release mechanisms,” said Friedman during a recent walkabout with TIME in the mission control building. “They have multiple wires in and only one has to work right. But one way or another, all of the releases do have to fire.”

“Many of these things are actuators that do have back-up systems,” says Zurbuchen. “But make no mistake, I could easily imagine things that we have no fallback on.”

Assuming none of those single point failures does, in fact, fail, there is much the James Webb Space Telescope could do and discover over the decade of work it has ahead of it. The ability to look as far back in time as the Webb can will raise the curtain on a whole range of astronomical objects and phenomena. For starters, it might be able to glimpse, or at least get close to, the universe’s literal let-there-be-light moment—peering back to the point when stars first began to form among the dust and gas clouds that made up all there was to the cosmos just after the Big Bang. Only at that point did the infant universe become illuminated, as the stars acquired enough mass to ignite their fusion engines and begin to burn their hydrogen fuel.

“There was a period of time when the universe wasn’t able to form stars or galaxies yet, so there wasn’t any light yet,” says Pontoppidan. “Then you form galaxies and they form stars and that happens about 100 million years after the Big Bang, but we don’t know for sure.”

Those early stars were not like those that populate the modern-day cosmos. They were huge, for starters—300 times more massive than our sun—and relatively short-lived. But that was a good thing: When the stellar behemoths exploded in massive supernovas, they helped generate the heavy elements that made our modern, elemementally complex universe possible.

Webb could also contribute to the study of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime caused by collisions of massive objects. The first gravitational waves were detected in 2015, proving a theory that Albert Einstein first promulgated a century earlier. Those waves, and others that have been detected since, were caused by pairs of black holes or neutron stars colliding—cosmic crack-ups that would also have produced massive amounts of heat and other radiative energy. If those emissions left infrared signatures, Webb should detect them.

Closer to home, the new telescope will conduct observations within our own galaxy, studying the atmospheres of exoplanets—planets circling other stars—looking for signs of biology. Most of the more than 4,000 exoplanets discovered so far were spotted by using the so-called transit method: When an orbiting planet passes in front of its parent star, it blocks a tiny bit of starlight, a change that can be detected by observatories like the Kepler Space Telescope. The amount of dimming gives you a good estimate of the planet’s diameter, and the frequency with which that little flicker repeats tells you how fast the planet is orbiting. But that’s all you can get from the transit method. With Webb, scientists will be able to analyze starlight as it passes through—and gets distorted by—a given planet’s atmosphere. The precise nature of that distortion can reveal the makeup of the atmosphere’s chemistry, including the presence of oxygen, carbon, methane and other elements and compounds that are requirements for—and perhaps fingerprints of—life as we know it. The JWST can conduct similar chemistry measurements on planets and moons with atmospheres in our own solar system, such as Titan, the great, gaseous satellite of Saturn.

“[Webb] won’t find new planets, so much as it will characterize those we already know,” says Pontoppidan, “in particular, smaller exoplanets with rocky surfaces and maybe relatively temperate temperatures.”

A technical drawing is seen on screen as Systems Engineers Christopher Murray (R) works at his console at the Webb Mission Office ahead of the James Web Space Telescopes launch at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 3, 2021.

Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images

For all its potential, Webb is not expected to have anywhere near the lifespan of the venerable Hubble, which launched when the Soviet Union was still a going concern. One risk is that it’s far more vulnerable. Hubble is a closed system, with its metal body shielding the delicate instruments inside from micrometeorites and other threats. Webb has no such protection, and both its mirror and sun shield are expected to get regularly dinged. Webb engineers are surprisingly sanguine about that fact, since NASA has conducted hypervelocity simulations, firing micrometeorite-like ordnance at mirror material, and has found the damage to be minimal.

“Luckily for us, the micrometeorites will put nice little well-defined bullet holes in [the mirror],” said Webb project manager Bill Ochs at the NASA press conference. That, he says, will detract a little bit from the overall mirror’s light collecting area, but not enough to make a meaningful difference. As for the sun shield, its five layers help a lot. Ochs says that micrometeorites are likely to disintegrate on impact with the first layer and may go on to strike the second, but puncturing all five is not likely.

Webb faces other operational challenges, however. Hubble has been kept alive in part through maintenance and servicing runs done by astronauts. Webb’s great distance from Earth makes that kind of house call impossible. What’s more, in order to remain stable at its gravity-balanced Lagrange point, Webb needs a thruster system, and a thruster system requires fuel. The telescope will launch with a full tank, but that will be only enough to keep it operating for a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10. In theory, a refill ought to be possible, and the telescope is actually equipped with a docking target to accommodate an incoming spacecraft that could conduct a refueling and extend the JWST’s life. It’s an appealing idea, especially considering the telescope’s dizzying price tag. That spacecraft, however, does not yet exist, though it could within the next decade.

“At this moment in time, we’re putting tunnel vision focus on getting this launched,” says Zurbuchen. “There is nothing to refuel if it doesn’t deploy. But I think refueling is not out of the realm of possibility, especially considering technological progress.”

No matter how long Webb lives, it will fly for only the tiniest blink of time compared to the age of the cosmos it will be studying. But it will help us learn much in those exceedingly fleeting years. The universe has long kept parts of its earliest epoch hidden from us—but no more. The Webb, says Pontoppidan, will be nothing less than “a discovery machine.”


The fabric of the cosmos . space, tlme, and the texture of reality  :: PDF  > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fabric_of_the_Cosmos   

 https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/science/galaxies.html  - https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/science/firstLight.html  


 " Direct observation of the particle exchange phase of photons"

Konrad Tschernig∗ , 1, 2 https://top.physik.hu-berlin.de/people/konrad-tschernig
Chris Muller ¨ ∗ , 2, 3  https://arxiv.org/abs/2007.11970 
Malte Smoor,3 Tim Kroh,2, 3
Janik Wolters,4, 5
Oliver Benson,2, 3
Kurt Busch,1, 2
and Armando Perez-Leija ´

1, 2

1Max-Born-Institut fur Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie ¨ Max-Born-Straße

2A, 12489 Berlin, Germany 2 Institut fur Physik, Humboldt-Universit ¨ at zu Berlin ¨ Newtonstraße 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany∗

3 IRIS Adlershof, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin ¨ Zum Großen Windkanal 6, 12489 Berlin, Germany∗

4Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), Institute of Optical Sensor Systems ¨ Rutherfordstraße 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany

5 Technische Universitat Berlin, Institut f ¨ ur Optik und Atomare Physik ¨ Str. des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany

(Dated: June 8, 2021)

SOURCE:  https://www.nytimes.com/1991/01/15/science/new-surveys-of-the-universe-confound-theorists.html

  "New Surveys Of the Universe Confound Theorists"
              By John Noble Wilford (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Noble_Wilford )   
-- Jan. 15, 1991

ASTRONOMERS' increasing power of observation is exposing awkward weaknesses in cosmology's cherished theories and imposing ever-narrowing limits on the imaginations of scientists engaged in the audacious vocation of figuring out the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. 

Recent ( this article CIRCA 1991) surveys of the heavens by telescopes and spacecraft have astonished scientists with the discovery of enormous conglomerations of galaxies that cannot be accounted for in current theory. [ HISTORY ]

... Such large structures, and associated voids, imply gravitational forces from unseen matter that must represent at least 90 percent of the mass in the universe.

The nature of this hidden mass is the most confounding problem in cosmology, astrophysicists say, perhaps in all of physical science. And one of the favorite explanations, which posits the existence of invisible exotic particles known as cold dark matter, has just suffered a serious setback from an analysis of infrared galactic observations reported this month.

Until scientists can determine the nature and amount of the cosmic mass, they will not be able to resolve the issue of whether there is enough material for gravitational forces to keep the universe expanding but at a decreasing rate. Too much mass, and the universe would contract and collapse on itself. Too little, and it expands forever virtually to a vanishing point.

"These are confused times," said Dr. P. J. E. Peebles, an astrophysicist at Princeton University.

Dr. Margaret J. Geller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said: "Something fundamental is missing in our models. "We clearly do not know how to make large structure in the context of the Big Bang."

But nothing has been learned, cosmologists insist, to question the foundation on which they seek to erect their theoretical edifices. Big Bang - WikipediaFor the last 25 years, nearly all astrophysicists have agreed that the universe -- time and space, everything -- began in an explosive instant, the "Big Bang", and it has been expanding in all directions ever since.

"The basic Big Bang model has withstood the test of observations and experiments amazingly well," said Dr. David N. Schramm, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago. "Just because you can't understand the physics of predicting tornadoes or earthquakes, you don't question the assumption of the round earth."

Indeed, new findings by astronomy and particle physics have strengthened scientists' faith in the Big Bang cosmology.
... Powerful accelerators have recently produced elementary particles of a kind predicted to have been created by the Big Bang. An American spacecraft, the Cosmic Background Explorer, or COBE, has found the temperature (a cool 2.7 degrees above absolute zero) and other properties of the background microwave radiation in the universe, the presumed afterglow of the Big Bang, to accord precisely with theory.

At a meeting of the American Astronomical Society yesterday in Philadelphia, Dr. John C. Mather, the chief COBE scientist, said: "We have confirmed the Big Bang theory very well. But the theory is sufficiently broad in possibilities to allow for many variations that are still open to question." From Smooth to Lumpy

The faint radiation pervading the cosmos was discovered in 1965, and it is considered the best evidence that the universe began with an explosion. But some of the same new observations seem to undermine concepts of what has happened in the 10 billion to 20 billion years since the Big Bang.

In its measurements last year, the COBE spacecraft failed to find any local variations in the radiation's intensity.

Nowhere could the craft's infrared detectors see any point brighter than its surroundings by even one part in 25,000. The early universe was an incredibly smooth and homogeneous mix of energy and matter, as would be expected after the Big Bang.

Cosmologists are thus at a loss to understand how a smooth universe evolved to its present "clumpy texture". They have recognized and grappled with this question for more than a decade, but never more so than in the last couple years. Technological advances, including electronic devices improving the light-collecting efficiency of telescopes, have enabled astronomers to see more of the universe's shape and dynamics.  [  "The fabrIc of the cosmos . space, tlme, and the texture of reality" BY Brian Greene  ]

"This is the first age in which we can really map the universe," Dr. Geller said.
   [ https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/university-turin-awards-margaret-geller-honorary-degree ]

One surprise has followed another. Not only is the universe composed of billions of galaxies of stars but by clusters of galaxies and superclusters linked together gravitationally in patterns like the "great wall" observed two years ago. Its discoverers, Dr. Geller and Dr. John P. Huchra, estimate the wall stretches across the heavens for more than half a billion light-years.

 SOURCE: https://biography.yourdictionary.com/margaret-joan-geller ::  "... 
Margaret Joan Geller (born 1947) discovered the existence of a Great Wall of galaxies in space that stretches at least 500 Million light-years.

Margaret Joan Geller, an astronomy professor at Harvard University and a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, helped discover a "Great Wall" of galaxies in space stretching at least 500 million light-years. The existence of this structure, the largest ever seen in the universe, presents a conundrum for theorists dealing with the early universe. She has been mapping the nearby universe for the past sixteen years and has produced the most extensive pictures yet.

Geller was born in Ithaca, New York, on December 8, 1947, to Seymour Geller and Sarah Levine Geller. She received her bachelor's degree at the University of California at Berkeley in 1970, and was a National Science Foundation fellow from 1970 to 1973. Her M.A. followed at Princeton University in 1972, and her Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Bright Galaxies in Rich Clusters: A Statistical Model for Magnitude Distributions," was received at Princeton University in 1975. She was a fellow in theoretical physics at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics from 1974 to 1976, and a research associate at the center from 1976 to 1980. She was a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for Astronomy in Cambridge, England, from 1978 to 1982, and an assistant professor at Harvard University from 1980 to 1983. Geller became an astrophysicist with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1983 and a professor of astronomy at Harvard University in 1988.

Since 1980 Geller has collaborated with astronomer John P. Huchra on a large-scale survey of galaxies, using redshifts to measure the galaxies' distance. (A redshift is a shift toward the red or longer-wavelength end of the visible spectrum that increases in proportion to distance.) Cosmologists have long predicted that galaxies are uniformly distributed in space, despite recent evidence of irregularities. Geller and Huchra hypothesized that three-dimensional mapping of galaxies beyond a certain brightness over a large-enough distance—500 million light-years—would confirm the predictions of uniformity. In January 1986 Huchra and Geller published their first results. But instead of the expected distribution, their "slice" of the cosmos (135 degrees wide by 6 degrees thick) showed sheets of galaxies appearing to line the walls of bubblelike empty spaces.

Geller and Huchra's so-called Great Wall is a system of thousands of galaxies arranged across the universe—its full width was indeterminable because it fell off the edges of the survey map. The wall contains about five times the average density of galaxies; but "what's striking," Geller told M. Mitchell Waldrop of Science Research News in 1989, "is how incredibly thin[—fifteen million light-years—the bubble walls] are." Large structures such as the Great Wall pose a problem for astronomers—they are too large to have formed as a result of gravity since the big bang (a cosmic explosion that the universe was born out of and expanded from over time), unless a significant amount of clumpiness was present at the origin of the cosmos. This theory, however, is contradicted by the smoothness of the cosmic microwave background, or "echo" of the big bang. Dark matter, invisible elementary particles left over from the big bang and believed to constitute 90 percent of the mass of the universe, is another possible explanation. But even dark matter may not be capable of producing so large an object as the Great Wall. "There is something fundamentally missing from our understanding of the way things work," Geller told Waldrop. Between January 1986 and November 1989, Geller and Huchra published four maps (including the first), and in each found the same line of galaxies perpendicular to our line of sight. Geller and Huchra's survey will eventually plot about fifteen thousand galaxies.

Geller won a MacArthur fellowship—also known as a "genius award"—in 1990 for her research. She received the Newcomb-Cleveland Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences that same year. In addition to galaxy distributions, Geller is interested in the origin and evolution of galaxies and X-ray astronomy. She is a member of the International Astronomical Union, the American Astronomical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  ..."

In between dense galactic structures Dr. Thomas J. Broadhurst of the University of London found gaping voids of comparable magnitude. Other astronomers have reported that the Milky Way and neighboring galaxies seem to be falling toward some enormous but unseen mass, known as the "great attractor."

Cosmology's turmoil is compounded by other observations of extremely distant quasars, sources of intense radiation assumed to be at the cores of galaxies. More than two dozen quasars have been detected out toward the edge of the universe, hence close to the beginning of time. If these distances are confirmed, it means that stars were clustering in galaxies much earlier than had been thought possible in Big Bang theory.

Hunt for Missing Mass

All of which lends urgency to the search for the hidden mass that is supposed to hold together the universe and create its galactic tapestry.

Scientists began in earnest to invent solutions to the missing mass a decade ago. That was when Dr. Alan Guth, now a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed the "inflation theory" that has become a widely accepted elaboration of Big Bang cosmology. A rapid expansion of the universe at the moment of creation could explain the initially smooth conditions and even the "seeds" for galaxy formation.

The "inflation theory" predicted that the universe should contain 100 times the matter visible in stars; otherwise it is difficult to explain its expansion rate and why it was not, in effect, stillborn. Some of the missing mass can be inferred from the observed gravitational effects on the dynamics of galaxies. But, according to studies of light elements produced in the Big Bang, no more than 10 percent of the mass should be ordinary matter like that in stars and planets.

Some 90 percent of the assumed mass is thus believed to be made of something scientists cannot see or imagine. The leading candidate has been cold dark matter, which is theorized to be an assortment of exotic and as yet undetected tiny particles that are considered "cold" because they move relatively slowly and "dark" because they do not absorb or radiate light.

Physicists sometimes call them WIMP's, for weakly interacting, yet massive particles.

Though no one has detected such particles, cold dark matter won strong support because it successfully accounted for structure on the scale of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. But it ran into trouble with the discovery of the "great wall" and other structures that seemed to be five times larger than anything possible with cold dark matter.

In an analysis of surveys by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, British and Canadian scientists wrote this month in the journal Nature, "There is more structure on large scales than is predicted by the standard cold dark matter theory of galaxy formation."

Conclusions Called Remarkable

Dr. David Lindley, associate editor of the journal, commented that the conclusions were "all the more remarkable for coming from a group of authors that includes some of the theory's longtime supporters."

Two of the authors were Dr. Carlos Frenk of the University of Durham in England and Dr. George Efstathiou of the University of Oxford. They and Dr. Marc Davis of the University of California at Berkeley and Dr. Simon D. M. White of the University of Arizona performed the computer simulations that established cold dark matter as a plausible explanation of galaxy formation.

Dr. Frenk said in an interview that the Nature editors misrepresented the report's conclusions. He said three of the four basic elements of the theory were unaffected by the findings. "It must be emphasized," Dr. Frenk said, "that the discrepancy between the standard model and the new data, although highly significant, is relatively small."

But other astrophysicists, who had already become skeptical, said the cold dark matter theory was in serious trouble because of the universe's observed large structure. "It's not dead, but it's on the ropes," Dr. Schramm said.

So - it is back to the drawing boards for theoreticians, either to revive cold dark matter in modified form or re-examine alternative proposals -- or think of something entirely new. Any number of alternative concepts -- cosmic strings or texture, stellar explosions, even hot dark matter -- have been examined in the past to explain how galaxies were formed. All have been found wanting, but not entirely discarded.

Dr. Peebles said new attention would be directed toward "hot matter," higher-energy particles that could account for the dark matter. Experiments by Soviet and American scientists last year determined that some forms of tiny invisible particles called neutrinos do have some slight mass. This could revive interest in neutrinos as dark-matter candidates.

In recent months, scientists have expressed interest in the discarded Einstein concept of the cosmological constant. This suggests that empty space, though a vacuum, possesses an energy density creating an outward pressure on space counteracting the inward pull of gravity. Dr. Efstathiou proposed last month that the energy densities of the cosmological constant could explain how large-scale structures were formed within the standard cold dark matter model.

Despite the confusion over dark matter, theorists came away from a symposium last month at Brighton, England, excited and encouraged by new observations of galactic velocities and volumes that they think yield evidence seeming to confirm one important part of Big Bang cosmology. "Observers are beginning to see that omega is creeping up, approaching unity," Dr. Schramm said.

Translated, that means that measurements of the average density of the universe are getting closer to the critical density, which has been estimated to be at present about six hydrogen atoms per cubic meter. If the actual average density is found to equal this critical density, a state referred to as omega one, it would indicate that the universe is poised precisely between an endless expansion and an ultimate collapse.

"This is an even more interesting result than all the clumping," Dr. Frenk said. "This tells us the future of the universe. And critical density, in the mind of most cosmologists, means dark matter, in all likelihood cold dark matter."

Other astrophysicists are not so sure about either the new density measurements or the reality of cold dark matter. They are worried, as Dr. Geller said, that all their models are "vaguely unsatisfying" and in need of constant repair and renovation to accord with new observations.

Looking at the bright side, cosmologists say they welcome the new observations because they put their work on a more scientific footing.

Collapse of Ptolemy's Theory

But more than one scientist, pondering the ferment of observational surprises and repeated revisions of theories, has been reminded of Ptolemy's epicycles. The theory of an Earth-centered universe survived more than 1,000 years, but only fashioning circles within circles of planetary motions in reponse to awkward observations. Finally, it fell of its own complexity and in the 16th-century was replaced by the simpler and more accurate Copernican theory.

The thought makes cosmologists uncomfortable.

For all the problems in trying to understand what the universe is made of and what holds it together, they emphasize that it does not follow that the Big Bang theory is in danger of collapsing.

So far, Dr. Geller said, interpretations of cosmic structure on the basis of current mapping of the heavens are far from definitive -- more like trying to picture the whole world from a survey of Rhode Island. "Someday," she said, "we may find that we haven't been putting the pieces together in the right way, and when we do, it will seem so obvious that we'll wonder why we hadn't thought of it much sooner."


  And so, to help taxpayers continue to fund - the Great Space Telescopes
  - PLEASE PROVIDE AN EXPLANATION [suitable for the average tax payers] 
  - OF How recording "photons" - emitted billions of years ago - answers the question "scientifically": "How - exactly - did it all begin?"  Who?, What?, Where?, When?, How? -- and WHY? 


SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/14/science/james-webb-telescope-launch.html

 ( https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/14/science/james-webb-telescope-launch.html  


 " Why the World’s Astronomers Are Very, Very Anxious Right Now"

The James Webb Space Telescope is endowed with the hopes and trepidations of a generation of astronomers.

The James Webb Space Telescope undergoing tests at a Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., last year.

The James Webb Space Telescope undergoing tests at a Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., last year.
Credit...Chris Gunn/NASA
Dennis Overbye

By Dennis Overbye
Dec. 14, 2021

What do astronomers eat for breakfast on the day that their $10 billion telescope launches into space? Their fingernails.

“You work for years and it all goes up in a puff of smoke,” said Marcia Rieke of the University of Arizona.

Dr. Rieke admits her fingers will be crossed on the morning of Dec. 24 when she tunes in for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. For 20 years, she has been working to design and build an ultrasensitive infrared camera that will live aboard the spacecraft. The Webb is the vaunted bigger and more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers expect that it will pierce a dark curtain of ignorance and supposition about the early days of the universe, and allow them to snoop on nearby exoplanets.

After $10 billion and years of delays, the telescope is finally scheduled to lift off from a European launch site in French Guiana on its way to a point a million miles on the other side of the moon. (Late on Tuesday, NASA delayed the launch at least two days).

An informal and totally unscientific survey - of randomly chosen astronomers - revealed a community sitting on the edges of their seats feeling nervous, proud and grateful for the team that has developed, built and tested the new telescope over the last quarter-century.

“I will almost certainly watch the launch and be terrified the entire time,” said Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a professor of physics and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire.

And there is plenty to be anxious about. The Ariane 5 rocket - that is carrying the spacecraft - has seldom failed to deliver its payloads to orbit. But even if it survives the launch, the telescope will have a long way to go.

Over the following month,  it will have to execute a series of maneuvers with 344 “single points of failure” in order to unfurl its big golden mirror and deploy five thin layers of a giant plastic sunscreen that will keep the telescope and its instruments in the cold and dark. Engineers and astronomers call this interval six months of high anxiety because there is no prospect of any human or robotic intervention or rescue should something go wrong.

Image ( Susan could not get this image - the New York Times "blocked her"...
Marcia Rieke, an astronomer at the University of Arizona who has been working on the design and build of the telescope’s ultrasensitive infrared camera.
Marcia Rieke, an astronomer at the University of Arizona who has been working on the design and build of the telescope’s ultrasensitive infrared camera.
 Credit...George Rieke 

Marcia J. Rieke  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_J._Rieke  < FULL ARTICLE

Marcia J. Rieke.jpg

Early life and education[edit]

Marcia Rieke was born Marcia Keyes on June 13, 1951, in Hillsdale, Michigan.

Rieke and her family soon after moved to Midland, Michigan where she attended elementary, middle and high school. The presence of the Dow Chemical Company headquarters in Midland made science a topic of importance for kids throughout the school system.[2] She graduated from Midland High School (Midland, Michigan) in 1969.

Rieke studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1972 and her Ph.D. in 1976, both in physics.[2]

Career and research[edit]

After receiving her degrees from MIT, Rieke became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona in 1976, and has remained ever since, now as Regents' Professor of Astronomy and formerly as Associate Department Head for Steward Observatory. Her scientific research interests include infrared observations of galactic nuclei and galaxies in the early universe (high-redshift galaxies).

In 2007, Rieke was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[4]

In 2012, Rieke was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.[5][6]

She was elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society in 2020. [7]

Marcia Jean Rieke is an American astronomer. She is a Regents' Professor of Astronomy and associate department head at the University of Arizona.[1] 

Rieke is the Principal Investigator on the near-infrared camera (NIRCam) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

She has also served as the deputy-Principal Investigator on the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and as the co-investigator for the multiband imaging photometer on the Spitzer Space Telescope, where she also acted as an outreach coordinator and a member of the Science Working Group.[2] Rieke was also involved with several infrared ground-based observatories, including the MMT Observatory in Arizona. She was vice chair for Program Prioritization of the Astro2010 Decadal Survey Committee, "New Worlds, New Horizons". Marcia Rieke is considered by many to be one of the "founding mothers" of infrared astronomy, along with Judith Pipher.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Marcia Rieke is married to the infrared astronomer George H. Rieke.[9]


Marcia Jean Keyes : June 13, 1951


Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scientific career
Fields Astronomy and Astrophysics
Institutions University of Arizona
Steward Observatory
Thesis The Distribution of Celestial Infrared Sources. (1976)
Doctoral advisor Susan G. Kleinmann

Marcia Jean Rieke is an American astronomer. She is a Regents' Professor of Astronomy and associate department head at the University of Arizona.[1] Rieke is the Principal Investigator on the near-infrared camera (NIRCam) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). She has also served as the deputy-Principal Investigator on the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and as the co-investigator for the multiband imaging photometer on the Spitzer Space Telescope, where she also acted as an outreach coordinator and a member of the Science Working Group.[2] Rieke was also involved with several infrared ground-based observatories, including the MMT Observatory in Arizona. She was vice chair for Program Prioritization of the Astro2010 Decadal Survey Committee, "New Worlds, New Horizons". Marcia Rieke is considered by many to be one of the "founding mothers" of infrared astronomy, along with Judith Pipher.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Marcia Rieke was born Marcia Keyes on June 13, 1951, in Hillsdale, Michigan. Rieke and her family soon after moved to Midland, Michigan where she attended elementary, middle and high school. The presence of the Dow Chemical Company headquarters in Midland made science a topic of importance for kids throughout the school system.[2] She graduated from Midland High School (Midland, Michigan) in 1969.

Rieke studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1972 and her Ph.D. in 1976, both in physics.[2]

Career and research[edit]

After receiving her degrees from MIT, Rieke became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona in 1976, and has remained ever since, now as Regents' Professor of Astronomy and formerly as Associate Department Head for Steward Observatory. Her scientific research interests include infrared observations of galactic nuclei and galaxies in the early universe (high-redshift galaxies).

In 2007, Rieke was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[4]

In 2012, Rieke was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.[5][6]

She was elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society in 2020. [7]

Honors and awards[edit] ... 

Personal life[edit]

Marcia Rieke is married to the infrared astronomer George H. Rieke.[9]

 SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/14/science/james-webb-telescope-launch.html  < WRONG! AS STATED HERE. 

  "... But if all those steps succeed, what astronomers see through that telescope could change everything. ... They hope to spot the first stars and galaxies emerging from the primordial fog when the universe was only 100 million years or so old, in short the first steps out of the big bang toward the cozy light show we inhabit today. ... “The entire astronomy community, given the broad range of anticipated science returns and discovery potential, has skin in the game” with the telescope, said Priyamvada Natarajan, an astrophysicist at Yale. ... “We are all intellectually and emotionally invested.” ... But the telescope has been snake bitten during its long development with cost overruns and expensive accidents that have added to the normal apprehension of rocket launches. ..."

  https://physics.yale.edu/people/priyamvada-natarajan :  priyamvada.natarajan@yale.edu  



The telescope being transported to the European Space Agency’s spaceport in French Guiana in October.

The telescope being transported to the European Space Agency’s spaceport in French Guiana in October.Credit...ESA/CNES/Arianespace

Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the Kavli Foundation in Los Angeles and past president of the American Physical Society, described the combination of “excitement and terror,” he expected to feel during the launch.

“The next decade of astronomy and astrophysics is predicated on J.W. being successful,” Dr. Turner said, referring to the James Webb Space Telescope, “and U.S. prestige and leadership in space and science are also on the line. That is a heavy burden to carry, but we know how to do great things.”

That opinion was echoed by Martin Rees of Cambridge University and the Astronomer Royal for the British royal households.

“Any failure of JWST would be disastrous for NASA,” he wrote in an email. “But if the failure involves a mechanical procedure — unfurling a blind, or unfolding the pieces of the mirror — this will be a mega-catastrophic and embarrassing P.R. disaster. That’s because it would involve a failure of something seemingly ‘simple’ that everyone can understand.”

Dr. Natarajan, who will use the Webb to search for the origins of supermassive black holes, said, “I am trying to be Zen and not imagine disastrous outcomes.”

But in describing the stakes, she compared the telescope to other milestones of human history.

“Remarkable enduring achievements of human hand and mind, be it the temples of Mahabalipuram, the pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall or the Sistine Chapel have all taken time and expense,” she said. “I truly see JWST as one such monument of our times.”

Alan Dressler of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, who was chair of a committee 25 years ago that led to the Webb project, responded with his own question when asked how nervous he was.


Systems engineers at the Webb Mission Office in Baltimore this month. 

Systems engineers at the Webb Mission Office in Baltimore this month. 
Systems engineers at the Webb Mission Office in Baltimore this month. Credit...Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“When you know someone is about to have critical surgery, would you sit around and have a conversation about ‘what if it fails?’” he wrote. He added that his colleagues “know there is no certainty here, and it does no good for any of us to ruminate about it.”

Another astronomer who has been involved with this project from the beginning, Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in an email that he was optimistic about the launch despite his reputation of being a “glass is half empty” kind of guy.

“The deployments are complex but my view is that all that is humanly possible has been done!” he wrote. He said that even if there were surprises in the telescope’s deployment, he did not “expect these to be either major or mission terminating — not at all.”

Other respondents to my survey also took refuge from their nervousness in the skill and dedication of their colleagues.

Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles, who won the Nobel Prize in 2020 for her observations of the black hole in the center of our galaxy, said she kept herself sane “by trusting that really smart people have worked really hard to get things right.”

That thought was seconded by Tod Lauer, an astronomer at NOIRLab in Tucson, Ariz., who was in the thick of it when the Hubble Space Telescope was launched and found to have a misshapen mirror, which required repair visits by astronauts on the now-retired space shuttles. He said his feelings regarding the upcoming launch were all about the engineers and technicians who built the Webb telescope.

“You very quickly respect the team nature of doing anything in space, and your dependence on scientists and engineers that you may never even know to get it all right,” he said. “Nobody wants it to fail, and I have yet to meet anyone in this who didn’t take their part seriously.”


Testing and inspection of the telescope’s observatory at Northrop Grumman in California in May 2020.

Testing and inspection of the telescope’s observatory at Northrop Grumman in California in May 2020.
Testing and inspection of the telescope’s observatory at Northrop Grumman in California in May 2020.Credit...Northrop Grumman/NASA
He added that astronomers had to trust their colleagues in rocket and spacecraft engineering to get it right.

“Someone who knows how to fly a $10 billion spacecraft on a precision trajectory is not going to be impressed by an astronomer, who never took an engineering course in his life, cowering behind his laptop watching the launch,” Dr. Lauer said. “You feel admiration and empathy for those people, and try to act worthy of the incredible gift that they are bringing to world.”

And if anything does go wrong, some astronomers said they would keep in perspective that it’s only hardware, not people, at stake.

“Should anything bad happen, I will be heartbroken,” Dr. Prescod-Weinstein said. “I am glad that at least human lives aren’t on the line.”

There was also a lot to look forward to if everything works as intended, said Dr. Rieke, who worked on the telescope’s infrared imaging device.

“When the camera turns on we’ll have another party,” she said.

Dennis Overbye joined The Times in 1998, and has been a reporter since 2001. He has written two books: “Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Story of the Scientific Search for the Secret of the Universe” and “Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance.” @overbye

 ( THIS PAGE:  https://hansandcassady.org/wEBB-OBSERVATORY.html )

 "JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE"  Mil-spec ::  https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/faqs/faq.html




 image >  https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/ImagesContent/team/compositeHeader3-1500px.jpg  

slices of world map showing webb contributors

"... Thousands of scientists, engineers, and technicians from 14 countries, 29 U.S. states, and Washington, D.C. contributed to design, build, test, integrate, launch, and operate Webb. ..."
 Partners and Contributors   

Map of Contributors | Text List of Contributors

International Collaboration
"... The James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration among NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). ..."

NASA logo  NASA: Overall responsibility for the Webb mission

ESA logo    ESA: Provides the Near Infrared Spectrograph, Mid-Infrared Instrument Optics Assembly, and the Ariane Launch Vehicle

CSA logo    CSA: Provides the Fine Guidance Sensor/Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph

NASA Centers:

GSFC: Manages the Webb project and provides ISIM components  - https://www.nasa.gov/goddard
JPL: Manages the Mid-Infrared Instrument - https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/
Ames: Detector Technology Development - https://www.nasa.gov/ames
JSC: Provides Observatory Test Facilities - https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/home/index.html
MSFC: Mirror Technology Development and Environmental Research - https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/home/index.html
GRC: Cryogenic Component Development - https://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home/index.html

Academic And Industry Partners:

In alphabetical order:
University of Arizona
Ball Aerospace
L3Harris Technologies
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman

The Space Telescope Science Institute  ( https://www.stsci.edu/ )


"JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE"  :::  Full Text Listing Of Contributors

 [ SOURCE: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/meetTheTeam/team.html#fullTextListingOfContributors ]


  1. CDA InterCorp Deerfield Beach FL ( http://www.cda-intercorp.com/home.cfm ) : "Sunshield Deployment Actuators"
    --  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/webb-sunshield-successfully-unfolds-and-tensions-in-final-tests 
    SOURCE: http://www.cda-intercorp.com/newsDisplay.cfm?newsID=15 :: "...  CDA InterCorp was recently recognized in AW&ST as a key supplier for the Sunshield Deployment Actuators on the James Webb Space Telescope. CDA is under contract with Northrop Grumman to provide the actuators. See link below for complete article from AW&ST. ..."

  2. Advocate in Manpower Management, Inc. (AIMM) Palm City, FL ( https://www.aimmfed.com/ ::  https://www.veteranownedbusiness.com/business/335/advocates-in-manpower-management-inc ) 
  3. Geodetics Systems, inc. Melbourne, FL (  https://www.geodetic.com/  )
  4. The Bechdon Company, inc. Upper Marlboro, MD
  5. National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD
  6. KBRWyle Greenbelt, MD
  7. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD
  8. Jackson & Tull Greenbelt, MD
  9. Global Science & Technology, inc. Greenbelt, MD
  10. The Hammers Company, Inc. Greenbelt, MD
  11. Microtel LLC Greenbelt, MD
  12. Sierra Lobo, inc. Greenbelt, MD
  13. Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Greenbelt, MD
  14. TRAX International Corporation Greenbelt, MD
  15. TRAX International Corporation Las Vegas, NV
  16. Conceptual Analytics, LLC Glenn Dale, MD
  17. Genesis Engineering Solutions, Inc. Lanham, MD
  18. Science Systems and Application, inc. Lanham, MD
  19. University of Maryland College Park, MD
  20. ASRC Federal Beltsville, MD
  21. ASRC Federal Inuteq Beltsville, MD
  22. Lorr Company Beltsville, MD
  23. Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
  24. Space Telescope Science Institute Baltimore, MD
  25. Nightsky Systems, Inc. Baltimore, MD
  26. Nu-Tek Precision Optical Corp Aberdeen, MD
  27. NASA HQ Washington D.C.
  28. The Catholic University of America Washington D.C.
  29. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Washington D.C.
  30. ADNET Systems, inc. Bethesda, MD
  31. Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Columbia, MD
  32. Geologics Corporation Alexandria, VA
  33. Leonardo S.P.A. Arlington, VA
  34. DXC Technology Tysons, VA
  35. BAE Systems, inc. Manassas, VA
  36. Science Application International Corporation Reston, VA
  37. NASA IV & V Facility Fairmont, WV
  38. Lester R. Summers, Inc. Ephrata, PA
  39. TE Connectivity Harrisburg, PA
  40. W. L. Gore & Associates, Ltd. Newark, DE
  41. Quantum Coating, Inc. Moorestown, NJ
  42. Valcor Engineering Corporation Springfield, NJ
  43. Kepco Inc. Flushing Queens, NY
  44. Epner Technology Brooklyn, NY
  45. Cobham Semiconductor Solutions Plainview, NY
  46. Cobham Semiconductor Solutions Colorado Springs, CO
  47. Data Device Corporation Bohemia, NY
  48. Data Device Corporation Poway, CA
  49. ZYGO Corporation Middlefield, CT
  50. Dynavac Hingham, MA
  51. Janis Research Company, LLC Woburn, MA
  52. Appli-Tec, inc. Salem, NH
  53. The Timken Company Keene, NH
  54. Optical Solutions Inc. Charlestown, NH
  55. Indium Corporation Utica, NY
  56. JPW Structural Contracting, Inc. Syracuse, NY
  57. ValveTech, inc. Phelps, NY
  58. Select Fabricators, inc. Canandaigua, NY
  59. Progressive Machine & Design Victor, NY
  60. L3Harris Technologies Rochester, NY
  61. Sigmadyne Rochester, NY
  62. Micro Instruments Corp Rochester, NY
  63. Viewpoint Systems, inc. Rochester, NY
  64. Precise Tool & Manufacturing Inc. Rochester, NY
  65. Triplex Industries, inc. Rochester, NY
  66. University of Rochester Rochester, NY
  67. MOOG INC. East Aurora, NY
  68. MOOG INC. Chatsworth, CA
  69. Keithley Instruments, A Tektronix Company Cleveland, OH
  70. NASA’s Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH
  71. Materion Corporation Elmore, OH
  72. Nelson Manufacturing Company Ottawa, OH
  73. Lake Shore Cryotronics, inc. Westerville, Ohio
  74. Titanium Brazing, inc. Columbus, OH
  75. ManTech Nexolve Corporation Huntsville, AL
  76. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL
  77. The University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL
  78. General Dynamics Cullman, AL
  79. Southern Research Birmingham, AL
  80. The Boeing Company Chicago, IL
  81. Newark Element14 Chicago, IL
  82. Numerical Precision, LLC Wheeling, IL
  83. Air Mobility Command Scott Air Force Base, IL
  84. Ellsworth Adhesive Germantown, WI
  85. Multek – Sheldahl Brand Material Northfield, MN
  86. Minco Products, inc. Minneapolis, MN
  87. ION Corp. Eden Prairie, MN
  88. Emerson Electric St. Louis, MO
  89. Positronic Springfield, MO
  90. Linde Gas La Porte, TX
  91. Acute Technological Services, inc. Houston, TX
  92. MEI Technologies, inc. Houston, TX
  93. NASA’s Johnson Space Center Houston, TX
  94. Texas A&M University College Station, TX
  95. National Instrument Corporation Austin, TX
  96. Park Aerospace Corp. Newton, KS
  97. Belcan Government Services Albuquerque, NM
  98. SolAero Technologies Corp. Albuquerque, NM
  99. UTC Aerospace Systems Albuquerque, NM
  100. White Sands Missile Range White Sand, NM
  101. Blue Line Engineering Colorado Springs, CO
  102. SEAKR Engineering, inc. Centennial, CO
  103. Raytheon Company Aurora, CO
  104. Raytheon Company Goleta, CA
  105. EnerSys - ABSL Longmont, CO
  106. Ball Aerospace Boulder, CO
  107. Space Science Institute Boulder, CO
  108. Composite Technology Development, inc. Lafayette, CO
  109. Aero-Space Tooling and Machining Salt Lake City, UT
  110. Hexcel Salt Lake City, UT
  111. Quick Turn Circuit Salt Lake City, UT
  112. Space Dynamics Laboratory North Logan, UT
  113. Northrop Grumman (formerly Orbital ATK) Magna, UT
  114. Northrop Grumman (formerly Orbital ATK) Commerce, CA
  115. Materion Corporation Mining Site Topaz-Spor Mountains, Utah
  116. Honeywell Phoenix, AZ
  117. Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
  118. 4D Technology Tuscan, AZ
  119. Hextek Corporation Tuscan, AZ
  120. University of Arizona Tuscan, AZ
  121. Microchip Technology Inc. Chandler, AZ
  122. Microsemi Corporation Aliso Viejo, CA
  123. ATA Engineering, inc. San Diego, CA
  124. Quartus Engineering Incorporated San Diego, CA
  125. Newport Corporation Irvine, CA
  126. Magna Tool Inc. Cypress, CA
  127. Tayco Engineering, inc. Cypress, CA
  128. Alliance Spacesystems, LLC Los Alamitos, CA
  129. Aerofit, LLC Fullerton, CA
  130. Vacco Industries, Inc. South El Monte, CA
  131. Jar Machine & Fabrication Azusa, CA
  132. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA
  133. Parsons Pasadena, CA
  134. Glenair, inc. Glendale, CA
  135. LA Gauge Company Sun Valley, CA
  136. NEO Technology Solutions Chatsworth, CA
  137. NEA Electronics, inc. Moorpark, CA
  138. Teledyne Imaging Sensors Camarillo, CA
  139. Tavis Corporation Mariposa, CA
  140. University of California, Davis Davis, CA
  141. Viavi Solution Inc. Santa Rosa, CA
  142. Coherent, inc. Richmond, CA
  143. Lockheed Martin Palo Alto, CA
  144. NASA’s AMES Research Center Mountain View, CA
  145. Synopsys, inc. Mountain View, CA
  146. Agilent Technology, inc. Santa Clara, CA
  147. Next Intent San Luis Obispo, CA
  148. Dow-Key Microwave Corp. Ventura, CA
  149. Minus K Technology Inglewood, CA
  150. Northrop Grumman Redondo Beach, CA
  151. Arconic Torrance, CA
  152. Smiths Interconnect Americans, inc. Costa Mesa, CA
  153. Precision Measurements and Instruments Corporation Corvallis, OR
  154. University of Idaho Moscow, ID
  155. University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI
  156. University of Hawaii Hilo, HI
  157. Global Scientific Technology, inc. Honolulu, HI
  158. ASRC HQ Barrow, AL
  159. CanadaCanadian Space Agency John H. Chapman Space Centre Longueuil, Québec, Canada
  160. Canadian Space Agency David-Florida Laboratory Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  161. Honeywell Aerospace Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  162. Honeywell Aerospace Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
  163. McGill University Montréal, Québec, Canada
  164. MDA, a MAXAR Company Montréal, Québec, Canada
  165. Université de Montréal Montréal, Québec, Canada
  166. University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  167. York University Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  168. ABB Québec City, Québec, Canada
  169. National Optics Institute (INO) Québec, Québec, Canada
  170. NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  171. Bishop’s University Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
  172. Saint Mary's University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  173. South America : Guiana Space Centre Kourou, French Guiana
  174. Europe Spatial Qualité Securité (E.S.Q.S) Kourou, French Guiana
  175.  Europe  : Airbus Defence and Space (CASA) Madrid, Spain
  176. Airbus Defence and Space GmbH Ottobrunn, Germany
  177. Airbus Defence and Space GmbH Friedrichshafen, Germany
  178. Airbus Defence and Space Limited Stevenage, U.K.
  179. Airbus Defence and Space Limited Portsmouth, U.K.
  180. Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U. Madrid, Spain
  181. Airbus Defence and Space SAS Les Mureaux, France
  182. Airbus Defence and Space SAS Toulouse, France
  183. AMOS Liège, Belgium
  184. Andersson & Sørensen Ishøj, Denmark
  185. APCO Technologies SA Aigle, Switzerland
  186. ArianeGroup GmbH Ottobrunn, Germany
  187. ArianeGroup SAS Les Mureaux, France
  188. Arianespace S.A.S Evry-Courcouronnes, France
  189. NOVA Optical Infrared Instrumentation Group Dwingeloo, Netherlands
  190. Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (AIP) Potsdam, Germany
  191. Belgian Science Policy Office Brussels, Belgium
  192. Cardiff University Cardiff, U.K.
  193. Carl Zeiss Optronics Oberkochen, Germany
  194. Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) Paris, France
  195. Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CRAL) Lyon, France
  196. Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) Paris France
  197. Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL) Angleur, Belgium
  198. Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) Madrid, Spain
  199. Chalmers Institute of Technology Onsala, Sweden
  200. Compagnie Maritime Nantaise - MN Nantes, France
  201. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) Madrid, Spain
  202. Cranfield Precision Engineering Bedford, U.K.
  203. Cranfield University Cranfield, U.K.
  204. CRISA, an Airbus Defence and Space company Madrid, Spain
  205. Danish Space Board Copenhagen, Denmark
  206. Danish Space Research Institute Copenhagen, Denmark
  207. Département d’Astrophysique (DAp/AIM) Saclay, France
  208. ETH, Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics Zurich, Switzerland
  209. Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) Bonn, Germany
  210. DTU Space the National Space Institute at Technical University of Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
  211. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Dublin, Ireland
  212. EDS Engineering Ltd Chelmsford, U.K.
  213. Enterprise Ireland Dublin, Ireland
  214. European Space Agency/ESAC Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
  215. European Space Agency/ESOC Darmstadt, Germany
  216. European Space Agency/ESTEC Noordwijk, Netherlands
  217. European Space Agency/Headquarters Paris, France
  218. Falck Schmidt ACE A/S Fredericia, Denmark
  219. Geneva Observatory Geneva, Switzerland
  220. Ghent University Ghent, Belgium
  221. HTG - Hyperschall Technologie Göttingen GmbH Bovenden, Germany
  222. IABG Ottobrunn, Germany
  223. IberEspacio Madrid, Spain
  224. INAF Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali Rome, Italy
  225. INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma Rome, Italy
  226. INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari Cagliari, Italy
  227. INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte Capodimonte, Italy
  228. INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Catania Catania, Italy
  229. INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova Padova, Italy
  230. University of Reading, Infrared Multilayer Laboratory Reading, U.K.
  231. Innova Design Emsworth, U.K.
  232. Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP) Paris, France
  233. Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS) Orsay, France
  234. Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA) Madrid, Spain
  235. Institut de Recherche sur les lois Fondamentales de l’Univers (IRFU) Saclay, France
  236. Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation Stockholm, Sweden
  237. Laboratoire d’Études Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique (LESIA) Paris, France
  238. Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) Marseille, France
  239. Laboratorio de Astrofisica y Fissica Fundamental Madrid, Spain
  240. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Paris, France
  241. Leonardo S.P.A. Florence, Italy
  242. LIDAX Madrid, Spain
  243. Linde Gas Products Munich, Germany
  244. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) Heidelberg, Germany
  245. MBDA Stevenage, U.K.
  246. Mersen Boostec Bazet, France
  247. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación Madrid, Spain
  248. Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) Dorking, U.K. 
  249. National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) Rome, Italy
  250. Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) Leiden, Netherlands
  251. Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) The Hague, Netherlands
  252. Observatoire de Paris Meudon, France
  253. OIP Sensor Systems Oudenaarde, Belgium
  254. Paul Scherrer Institute Villigen, Switzerland
  255. Phoenix Optical Glass Ltd St Asaph, U.K.
  256. Physikalisches Institut Bern, Switzerland
  257. Phytron-Elektronik GmbH Gröbenzell, Germany
  258. Rockwell Collins Heidelberg, Germany
  259. RUAG Space AB Linköping, Sweden
  260. RUAG Space AB Gothenburg, Sweden
  261. RUAG Schweiz AG Zurich, Switzerland
  262. RUAG Schweiz AG Emmen, Switzerland
  263. RUAG Austria GmbH Vienna, Austria
  264. Safran REOSC Saint-Pierre-du-Perray, France
  265. STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre Edinburgh, U.K.
  266. STFC RAL Space Didcot, U.K.
  267. SOGECLAIR Aerospace S.A.S Blagnac, France
  268. SONOVISION Aix-en-Provence, France
  269. Sonovision-ITEP Paris, France
  270. Spectrogon AB Stockholm, Sweden
  271. SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research Groningen, Netherlands
  272. UKRI Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Swindon, U.K.
  273. Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden
  274. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) Guildford, U.K.
  275. Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA) Stockholm, Sweden
  276. Swiss Space Office Bern, Switzerland
  277. Syderal SA Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  278. Tecan Weymout, U.K.
  279. Tekdata Interconnections Limited Stoke on Trent, U.K.
  280. Terma A/S Lystrup, Denmark
  281. Terma B.V. Leiden, Netherlands
  282. Terma GmbH Darmstadt, Germany
  283. Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG Backnang, Germany
  284. Thales Alenia Space Florence, Italy
  285. Thales Alenia Space Rome, Italy
  286. Thales Alenia Space Chieti, Italy
  287. Thales Alenia Space Milan, Italy
  288. Thales Alenia Space Varese, Italy
  289. Thales Alenia Space L’Aqulia, Italy
  290. Thales Alenia Space Turin, Italy
  291. Thales Alenia Space ETCA Charleroi, Belgium
  292. TNO/TPD Delft, Netherlands
  293. UK Space Agency Swindon, U.K.
  294. University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands
  295. University of Cambridge Cambridge, U.K.
  296. University College London London, U.K.
  297. University of Cologne Cologne, Germany
  298. Durham University Durham, U.K.
  299. University of Exeter Exeter, U.K.
  300. University of Groningen Groningen, Netherlands
  301. University of Leicester Leicester, U.K.
  302. Leiden University Leiden, Netherlands
  303. KU Leuven Leuven, Belgium
  304. University of Oxford Oxford, U.K.
  305. W. L. Gore & Associates GmbH Pleinfeld, Germany
  306.  W. L. Gore & Associates, (UK) Ltd. Dundee, U.K.    



 "photons" "time"
- https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/ask-ethan-109-how-do-photons-experience-time-94756eab8bf9

 "observation"  > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observation


 "observation" of "galaxies"

"observation" of "photons"
 - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41566-021-00818-7  
 "Direct observation of the particle exchange phase of photons"
- https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fd3e/942a22133d15f249bfcc2e8d9dd93f7f8725.pdf?_ga=2.2771958.754161052.1639491741-617960612.1639491741

 "Direct observation of the particle exchange phase of photons"


 "... Webb will peer back in time  ( SSSSS photon emission SSSSSS : https://science.howstuffworks.com/light7.htm )
 to when the Universe was young ( sssss by absorbing photons ?????  sssss)
 - over 13.5 billion years ago,
 a few jundred million years after the "big bang"
- to search for the first galaxies in the universe. ... "

 < page 19


Since the late 1980s, Webb has evolved from just an idea – “What’s 
next?” – to a premier flagship mission in 2021.
In 1989, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, and NASA co-hosted the Next 
Generation Space Telescope Workshop at STScI, where engineers and astronomers debated the science and 
technical capabilities of an observatory that would follow the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Discussions from that 
workshop led to the formal recommendation in 1996 that the telescope should operate in infrared wavelengths and be equipped with a mirror larger than 4 meters.

By 2002, NASA had selected the teams to build the instruments and the group of astronomers who would 
provide construction guidance. 
Construction on Webb began in 2004. In 2005, the 
European Space Agency’s Centre Spatial Guyanais 
(CSG) spaceport in French Guiana was chosen 
as the launch site and an Ariane 5 rocket as the 
launch vehicle. By 2011, all 18 mirror segments were 
finished and p oven through testing to meet required 
Between 2012 and 2013, Webb’s individual pieces, 
constructed in a variety of locations, began to arrive 
at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, 
Maryland. In 2013, construction of the sunshield 
layers began. From 2013 to 2016, Webb’s science 
instruments were packaged together and subjected to 
numerous tests of extreme temperature and vibration. 
From late 2015 to early 2016, the telescope optics 
and structures were assembled, featuring installation 
of all 18 of Webb’s individual mirrors on the telescope’s 
backplane structure to assemble the 21-foot (6.5-meter) 
In 2017, the telescope assembly and the package of 
science instruments were integrated into one unit and subjected to mechanical integrity vibration testing at 
Goddard, then shipped to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for end-to-end optical performance 
testing in a giant cryogenic temperature vacuum chamber.
In 2018, the performance-verified telescope plus instrument assembly was delive ed to Northrop Grumman in 
Redondo Beach, California, where the spacecraft bus plus sunshield assembly was being built and tested, and 
the following year, these two halves of Webb were connected.
Final environmental, electrical, functional, and communications testing continued until Webb was folded and 
stowed for the final time in 2021.



 Electromagnetc spectrum >  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum  

 nearinfrared and mid-infrared wavelengths



 - https://www.univie.ac.at/geographie/fachdidaktik/FD/site/external_htmls/imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/waves3.html
 - https://www.univie.ac.at/geographie/fachdidaktik/FD/site/external_htmls/imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/waves3.html


 infrared sensitivity  < Page 4

 Sunshield Deployment
 Mirror DeploymentS
 Arrival at L2
 "Telescope" cooling
 "Telescope" alignment
 Instrument (Systems) calibration
 First images [spectral "spectra" data] 

MEDIA   < page 6
Policy and Program Management 
NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C.

Alise Fisher
Public Affairs Specialist, Ast ophysics
alise.m.fisher@nasa.gov | 202-617-497

Karen Fox
Senior Communications Lead, Science Mission Directorate
karen.c.fox@nasa.gov | 301-286-6284

Natasha Pinol
Webb Program Communications Lead
natasha.r.pinol@nasa.gov | 202-215-7554

Elizabeth Landau
Senior Communications Specialist
elandau@nasa.gov | 202-923-0167

Mission Communications Team
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, 
Laura Betz
Webb Project Communications Lead
laura.e.betz@nasa.gov | 301-286-9030

Patrick Lynch
Deputy Chief, Office of Communicatio
patrick.lynch@nasa.gov | 747-897-2047

Thaddeus Cesari
Webb Strategic Communications Specialist 
thaddeus.cesari@nasa.gov | 240-309-7678 
Science and Post-Launch Mission 
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

Christine Pulliam
James Webb Space Telescope News Chief
cpulliam@stsci.edu | 410-338-4366

Hannah Braun
Senior Media Relations Specialist
hbraun@stsci.edu | 410-338-4244

Major Partners 

European Space Agency
Canadian Space Agency

ASC.Medias-Media.CSA@canada.ca | 450-926-4370
Northrop Grumman

Omar Torres
Manager, External Communications
omar.torres@ngc.com | 310-813-2041

University of Arizona
Daniel Stolte
Public Information Offic
stolte@arizona.edu | 520-626-4402  

<page 7
Products and Events
News Releases and Features
Mission news, updates, and feature stories about the 
James Webb Space Telescope are available below:
NASA News Releases

Scientific News Release
Resources in Spanish/Recursos en Español
The latest information about launch and commissioning 
activities can be found here at the Webb Launch Toolkit.
Multimedia Resources
Webb’s image and video galleries include:
NASA B-roll and Animations Gallery
NASA Flickr gallery
Space Telescope Science Institute Resource Gallery
Webb Science Writer’s Guide
The NASA image use policy can be found here. 
The Space Telescope Science Institute’s image use policy 
can be found here.
Web Resources
Official NASA Sites
General / Technical
Official Partner Sites
Canadian Space Agency
English / French
European Space Agency
Space Telescope Science Institute
Follow Webb on 
Social Media
Media Events
The most up-to-date information about the James Webb 
Space Telescope’s media events and where they may be 
viewed can be found on the Webb Launch Toolkit. More 
information on NASA Television and streaming channels 
can be found below in the Watch Online section.
How to Watch
News briefings and landing commentary a e streamed 
on NASA TV, NASA.gov/live, and YouTube.com/NASA. 
(On-demand recordings will also be available after the 
live events have finished on ouTube.) Any additional 
feeds or streams will be listed in the Watch Online 
section of the Webb Launch Toolkit.
1of cosmic history


The James Webb Space Telescope studies every phase 

The Webb telescope is the scientific successor to the iconic Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, built to complement and further the discoveries of Hubble, Spitzer, and other NASA missions by accessing the near infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths with unprecedented resolution.

ssssssssss HOW DOES " accessing the near infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths with unprecedented resolution " PERMIT US TO "explore every phase of cosmic history " ? STOP THE GOOBLE-D-GOOK !  ssssssssss

Webb’s revolutionary technology will allow  scientists to explore every phase of cosmic history – from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between. 


  (  https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/satellites/jwst/about.asp  

Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries and 
help humankind understand the origins of the universe, as well as our place in it.
6 Sides to the James Webb Space Telescope 
The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest and most 
powerful space science telescope ever built. 
It will unfold the universe, transforming how we think about the night sky and our place in the cosmos. The 
telescope lets us look back to see a period of cosmic history never before observed. Webb can peer into the 
past because telescopes show us how things were – not how they are right now. It can also explore distant 
galaxies, farther away than any we’ve seen before. 
Here’s what you should know about this one-of-a-kind marvel of engineering:
2 The Webb observatory is so large it must fold up for launch and 
then unfold in space, like giant high-tech origami
Webb’s science objectives require the observatory to 
be very large – so large that, when expanded to full 
size, it can’t fit into the nose cone (i.e., fairing) of an 
available launch vehicle in its operational configuration 
One of Webb’s main components is the sunshield, a 
diamond-shaped structure roughly the area of a tennis 
court. It was carefully folded and packed to fit insid 
Webb’s launch vehicle, the Ariane 5 rocket. In space, 
the sunshield will expand, tension, and separate into its 
five distinct layers
At over 21 feet (6.5 meters) in diameter and about 270 
square feet (25 square meters) in area, Webb’s primary 
mirror is also too wide to fit into the Ariane 5 fairing i 
one piece, so it is segmented into 18 hexagonal pieces 
on a hinged structure so it can fold up for launch and 
unfold in space. It will be the largest mirror ever flow 
into space.
More details of Webb’s complex two-week unfolding 
process are outlined below.
3 where it can orbit the Sun in line with Earth
Webb has a million-mile journey to reach its destination, 
This special orbit allows one side of Webb’s sunshield to always face the Sun, Earth, and Moon, blocking their 
heat and light from reaching the telescope’s heat-sensitive optics. Webb’s month-long journey takes it to the 
second Lagrange (L2) point, one of five positions in space whe e the gravitational pull of the Sun and Earth balances the centripetal force required for a spacecraft to move with them. This makes Lagrange points particularly 
useful for reducing the fuel required for a spacecraft to remain in position. The location also enables continuous 
communications with Webb through the Deep Space Network, an international array of giant antennas managed 
by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
4 Webb’s state-of-the-art scientific instruments are engineered 
to produce a treasure trove of awe-inspiring imagery and data
The instruments primarily have two functions: 1) imaging, or taking images of scientific ta gets; and 2) 
spectroscopy, or breaking down light into separate wavelengths – like raindrops create a rainbow – to determine 
the physical and chemical properties of various forms of cosmic matter. Learn more in the Instruments section.
In designing Webb, engineers had to imagine a 
telescope unlike any that has ever been built before. 
Technological advances, and even new inventions, 
were necessary to make the mission feasible: 
Breakthrough lightweight deployable mirrors and 
advanced composite structures that align to millionths 
of millimeters and work at super-cold temperatures. 
Large, ultra-sensitive infrared light detectors. 
A “microshutter” device with thousands of tiny 
windows, each the width of a human hair and 
programmable to be open or closed, to enable 
spectroscopic measurement of hundreds of individual 
objects simultaneously. A cryocooler that chills the 
mid-infrared detectors to the necessary temperature 
of only a handful of degrees above absolute zero. 
Some Webb developments have had serendipitous 
spin-off benefits. One example assists s geons 
performing LASIK eye surgery: Engineers developed 
a technique for precisely and rapidly measuring the 
mirrors to guide their grinding and polishing. 
This technology has since been adapted to creating 
high-definition maps of patients’ eyes for imp oved 
surgical precision.
5 Several new technologies were developed during the building of 
the Webb telescope, including innovative spinoffs that have already 
improved life here on Earth
6 The James Webb Space Telescope’s very first science 
images are worth the wait
Webb begins gathering its first set of scientific observations after its commissioning ocess is complete, roughly 
six months after launch. The initial few weeks of commissioning includes Webb’s unfolding process, which 
occurs as Webb is on its month-long, million-mile journey to its operational orbit. The observatory then gradually 
cools down to its cryogenic operating temperatures before we can safely operate the science instruments (about 
40 kelvins, or less than -380 degrees Fahrenheit), and the commissioning team aligns all of its mirrors and calibrates its scientific instruments. In o der for Webb’s primary mirror segments to act as a single optic, each of the 
18 segments must be aligned to within a fraction of a wavelength of near-infrared light, i.e., mere nanometers, or 
about 1/10,000th the thickness of a human hair!
Keep up with Webb’s journey and look out for Webb’s upcoming, stunning images on social media via 
@NASAWebb on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as the hashtag #UnfoldTheUniverse.
Fun Facts
Since the late 1980s, Webb has evolved from just an idea – “What’s 
next?” – to a premier flagship mission in 2021. 
In 1989, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, and NASA co-hosted the Next 
Generation Space Telescope Workshop at STScI, where engineers and astronomers debated the science and 
technical capabilities of an observatory that would follow the Hubble Space Telescope. Discussions from that 
workshop led to the formal recommendation in 1996 that the telescope should operate in infrared wavelengths 
and be equipped with a mirror larger than 4 meters.
By 2002, NASA had selected the teams to build the instruments and the group of astronomers who would 
provide construction guidance. 
Construction on Webb began in 2004. In 2005, the 
European Space Agency’s Centre Spatial Guyanais 
(CSG) spaceport in French Guiana was chosen 
as the launch site and an Ariane 5 rocket as the 
launch vehicle. By 2011, all 18 mirror segments were 
finished and p oven through testing to meet required 
Between 2012 and 2013, Webb’s individual pieces, 
constructed in a variety of locations, began to arrive 
at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, 
Maryland. In 2013, construction of the sunshield 
layers began. From 2013 to 2016, Webb’s science 
instruments were packaged together and subjected to 
numerous tests of extreme temperature and vibration. 
From late 2015 to early 2016, the telescope optics 
and structures were assembled, featuring installation 
of all 18 of Webb’s individual mirrors on the telescope’s 
backplane structure to assemble the 21-foot (6.5-meter) 
In 2017, the telescope assembly and the package of 
science instruments were integrated into one unit and subjected to mechanical integrity vibration testing at 
Goddard, then shipped to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for end-to-end optical performance 
testing in a giant cryogenic temperature vacuum chamber.
In 2018, the performance-verified telescope plus instrument assembly was delive ed to Northrop Grumman in 
Redondo Beach, California, where the spacecraft bus plus sunshield assembly was being built and tested, and 
the following year, these two halves of Webb were connected.
Final environmental, electrical, functional, and communications testing continued until Webb was folded and 
stowed for the final time in 2021.
An early concept for the James Webb Space Telescope – 
known at the time as the Next Generation Space Telescope 
– was designed by a Goddard Space Flight Center-led 
team. It already incorporated a segmented mirror, an 
“open” design, and a large deployable sunshield.
International Collaboration
Webb is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space 
Agency (CSA).
NASA is responsible for the overall Webb mission. NASA Headquarters oversees the program for the Science 
Mission Directorate. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the entire Webb project, leads its overall 
engineering, and also produced components for the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM). NASA’s Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) managed the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), including the cryocooler. NASA’s 
Ames Research Center developed detector technology for the mission, while NASA’s Marshall Space Flight 
Center developed mirror technology and provided environmental research. NASA’s Johnson Space Center
provided observatory test facilities. Lastly, NASA’s Glenn Research Center was involved in cryogenic component 
ESA has provided the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument, as well as about half of the MIRI 
instrument through special funding from the ESA Member States. In addition, ESA is providing the launch vehicle 
— the Ariane 5 ECA rocket — and all launch services at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. In return, 
ESA scientists have a minimum share of 15% of the total observing time on the Webb telescope. ESA scientists will 
support mission operations at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and European scientists are also represented 
on all advisory bodies of the project.
CSA is contributing the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) 
instrument. In exchange, Canadian Webb scientists will receive a guaranteed 450 hours of observing time in the 
first few years of the mission. About 5% of the General Observa ions program is also reserved for Canada. CSA 
scientists will support mission operations at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and Canadian scientists are 
also represented on all advisory bodies of the project.
A Telescope for the World
Thousands of scientists, engineers, and technicians from 14 countries, 29 U.S. states, and Washington, 
D.C., contributed to building, testing, and integrating Webb. Scientists from 41 countries, 42 U.S. states, and 
Washington, D.C., have been awarded observing time during Webb’s first year of science operations
Northrop Grumman is the main industrial partner for the Webb mission, under contract to NASA’s Goddard 
Space Flight Center. The company designed and built Webb’s sunshield and spacecraft bus, and integrated and 
environmentally tested the full observatory. Ball Aerospace was responsible for designing and building Webb’s 
optical technology and lightweight mirror system; L3Harris led the assembly of components made by various NASA 
partners to assemble Webb’s optical telescope element and integrate it with the instruments.
The Space Telescope Science Institute (part of the Association of Universities in Research and Astronomy, 
or AURA) is the Science and Operations Center for the Webb observatory. STScI staff a e responsible for the 
development of Webb’s ground system, including flight operations and the softwa e the astronomical community 
will use to plan, execute, and analyze Webb observations. STScI will also host Webb data in the Mikulski Archive 
for Space Telescopes (MAST).
The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument was designed by the University of Arizona in conjunction with 
Lockheed Martin, who built and tested NIRCam for the University of Arizona and NASA. Teams led by professors 
at the University of Arizona helped develop NIRCam’s focal plane and additionally contributed to the MIRI 
A group of European companies, led by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS), built the NIRSpec instrument for ESA, 
with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center contributing the detectors and micro-shutters.
ESA, a nationally funded European Consortium (EC) consisting of scientists and engineers across multiple 
European countries, NASA’s JPL and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center worked together to develop the MidInfrared Instrument (MIRI). Besides managing the instrument, JPL was responsible for the focal plane system and 
the flight softwa e. The consortium was responsible for the optics and optical bench, as well as the assembly, 
integration, and testing of MIRI.
The Fine Guidance Sensor and Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph was built and tested by Honeywell 
with help from the Canadian Space Agency, Université de Montréal, NASA, and the Space Telescope Science 
NASA’s partnerships reflect that science is made possible by a worldwide communit . Effective teamwork ac oss 
partners and contractors from multiple nations required extensive coordination, such as careful defining of eng -
neering requirements and interfaces. Team members also had to navigate varying laws and regulations regarding 
information sharing. Despite these challenges, Webb’s successful integration and testing stand as a testament to 
the benefits of global cooperation. Just as ebb was created as a collective effort, the telescope will p ovide an 
incredible trove of data that will serve the entire world.
A full list of global contributors to the Webb mission can be found here.
Interactive map (online version)
Launch and Commissioning Timeline
Launch Vehicle
The launch vehicle for the James 
Webb Space Telescope is an 
Ariane 5 rocket. 
With over 100 successful missions to orbit, the Ariane 
5 is one of the world’s most reliable heavy lift vehicles 
capable of delivering Webb to its destination in space. 
The European Space Agency (ESA) is providing the 
launcher and associated launch services as part of 
its contribution to the Webb mission. These launch 
services have been tailored to accommodate all the 
specific equirements of the Webb mission.
ROCKET: The Ariane 5 is a multistage rocket that uses 
combination solid and cryogenic liquid propellant. It 
has an industry-standard 16-feet diameter (5-meter 
diameter) nose cone, or fairing. Total powered flight
time is nearly 27 minutes.
LOWER COMPOSITE STAGE: The lower composite 
stage is composed of two boosters and a cryogenicliquid, single-engine core stage. The core stage ignites 
Launch Site
Webb’s launch site is Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at the Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG), or Guiana 
Space Center. The center is located near the town of Kourou in French Guiana, an overseas department of 
France on the northeastern coast of South America. Rockets launching from there benefit from a slingshot 
effect of being so close to the equator, where the rotational speed of Earth at the surface is greatest. CSG is 
also referred to as Europe’s Spaceport, and many commercial payloads are launched from there on a variety of 
Preparation for Webb’s launch in French Guiana lasts 55 days, from the observatory’s arrival by ship to the 
day of launch (not including shipment of some support equipment and supplies and some preparatory setup 
ahead of time). After shipment, engineers run a final, abbreviated set of electrical and functional tests and check 
7 seconds prior to liftoff and operates for 540 seconds, delivering about 300 thousand pounds (136 tonnes) of 
thrust and burning 385 thousand pounds (175 tonnes) of its liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants. The 
two strap-on solid-propellant boosters, each weighing 529 thousand pounds (240 tonnes) at liftoff, fire next. 
Together they deliver about 2.6 million pounds (1,200 tonnes) of thrust for 135 seconds, providing just over 90% 
of the total thrust of the launcher at liftoff.
UPPER STAGE: Another cryogenic-liquid, single-engine stage that runs on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the 
upper stage operates for 945 seconds, delivering about 15 thousand pounds (6.5 tonnes) of thrust.
PAYLOAD ADAPTER: This mechanically and electrically connects Webb to the top of the Ariane rocket upper 
stage and contains the release mechanism that separates Webb from the launch vehicle.
PAYLOAD FAIRING: Ariane 5’s “nose cone,” or fairing, serves to protect Webb from atmospheric drag and heating 
during ascent. Its outer dimensions are about 18 feet (5.4 meters) in diameter and 56 feet (17 meters) in height, 
but payloads must fit in a space that is only about 15 feet (4.57 meters) in diameter and 53 feet (16.19 meters) 
in height. In its stowed condition, all folded up, Webb fits neatly inside the fairing, with just enough clearance to 
accommodate the relative motions expected during launch.
Made of an aluminum honeycomb core covered with graphite-epoxy composite, the fairing is comprised of 
two thin half-shells riveted together for launch. Lightweight for its size, the fairing’s role is to make the launcher 
aerodynamic and protect Webb on ascent through the atmosphere.
After 206 seconds of flight, at an altitude of about 75 miles (120 kilometers), the atmosphere is extremely thin 
and no longer presents a significant force. The fairing is jettisoned to lighten the upper stage by 5,900 pounds 
(2.7 tonnes) and improve rocket performance. At jettison, the two halves of the fairing are separated by a dual 
pyrotechnic system, with springs pushing them away from the launcher’s trajectory.
Launch Day
Starting at liftoff, the Ariane ocket provides thrust for about 27 minutes. Webb begins to transmit telemetry data 
(measurements of the observatory’s performance) after payload fairing separation, almost 3 and a half minutes 
after launch. Webb separates from the Ariane 5 launch vehicle a half hour after launch, and the solar array 
deploys automatically moments afterward. 
Two hours after launch, the high gain antenna deploys. Twelve hours after launch, there is the first trajectory
correction maneuver by small rocket engines aboard Webb itself. This is the first of th ee critical course 
corrections to ensure the observatory achieves a successful orbit.
Critical Course Corrections
The James Webb Space Telescope is launched on a direct path to an orbit around the second SunEarth Lagrange Point (L2), but it needs to make its own mid-course thrust correction maneuvers to 
get there. This is by design, because if Webb gets too much thrust from the Ariane rocket, it can’t 
turn around to thrust back toward Earth because that would directly expose its telescope optics 
and structure to the Sun, overheating them and aborting the science mission before it can even 
begin. Therefore, Webb gets an intentional slight under-burn from the Ariane and uses its own small 
thrusters and on-board propellant to make up the diffe ence. 
There will be three mid-course correction (MCC) maneuvers: MCC-1a, MCC-1b, and MCC-2. 
The first bu n, MCC-1a, is the most important and the only other time-critical operation aside from 
solar array deployment during Webb’s commissioning period. MCC-1a should occur between 12.5 
hours and approximately 20 hours after launch, and is a continuous burn lasting up to a few hours. 
The second maneuver, MCC-1b, is a shorter burn performed approximately 2.5 days after launch, 
right before sunshield deployment is scheduled to start. The final maneuve , MCC-2, performed 29 
days after launch, is designed to insert Webb into the optimum orbit around L2. 
the stowed mechanical configuration. A trained c ew in special hazmat suits then loads the spacecraft with 
propellant. Next, Webb moves to the vehicle integration building and is lifted and mounted on top of the Ariane 
rocket “stack.” The final few emove-before-flight (“ ed-tag”) items are taken off, and the few add-befo e-flight
(“green-tag”) items are installed, and the fairing is lifted and lowered over top.
As a fully integrated launch vehicle with payload, the Ariane rocket rolls out to the launch pad on its launch table 
a few days before launch. Engineers monitor the rocket via electrical connections running from the payload 
control room to the launch pad through an umbilical attachment to the vehicle that separates at liftoff. A few
hours before launch, the Ariane is loaded with liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer. About a half hour 
before launch, engineers in the payload control room switch the spacecraft from CSG-provided electrical power 
to the spacecraft’s on-board battery. Launch is controlled from CSG’s “Jupiter 2” mission control room, based 
on status reports on the ground systems and the observatory from the payload control room at CSG as well as 
Mission Control Center at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
From launch to its final destination at the second Lagrange point (L2), the James ebb Space Telescope’s 
journey spans about a month. Once there, Webb’s orbit follows a special path around L2 that allows it to stay on 
Earth’s night side and track along with Earth while moving around the Sun.
Located about a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) directly “behind” the Earth as viewed from the Sun, the 
second Lagrange point is an ideal location for astronomy and has been home to previous missions such as 
WMAP, Planck, and Herschel. There are five Lagrange points in the Sun-Earth system: positions in space whe e 
the gravity of the Sun and Earth balances the centripetal force required for a spacecraft to move with them. This 
makes Lagrange points useful for reducing the amount of fuel it takes for a spacecraft to remain in orbit. Webb’s 
orbit is actually a halo orbit around the L2 location. 
As an infrared observatory, Webb must be protected from all bright, hot sources in order to see the faint heat 
signals of distant objects in the universe. Because Webb will always stay on Earth’s night side as it moves 
around the Sun, its orbit ensures that one side of its sunshield will continuously face the Sun, Earth, and Moon 
to block their view from the telescope’s optics.
Another advantage of this orbit is that Webb will always be at the same general location relative to Earth. 
Consequently, it is always close enough to continuously stay in contact through the Deep Space Network, 
an international array of giant antennas supporting NASA’s deep space missions.
Finally, orbiting L2 allows Webb to be perpetually bathed in sunshine to generate power via the solar array on 
the Sun-facing side of the spacecraft, while providing an unobstructed view of deep space. The orbital path that 
Webb takes ensures that it stays out of the shadows of both Earth and the Moon.
As Webb is orbiting L2, it is also moving around the Sun. Given that Webb can only point to roughly half the sky 
at any given moment because it can’t look in the direction of Earth and the Sun, this affo ds Webb access to the 
entire sky over the course of a year.
Once launched, Webb undergoes an action-packed six-month commissioning period, during which it fully 
deploys, cools down to operating temperatures, aligns its mirrors, and calibrates its instruments.
Major Deployments
Webb’s deployment sequence is an intricately choreographed and thoroughly tested series of movements.
After a second trajectory correction maneuver about 2.5 days after launch, the first week of deployments starts
with bringing down the two sunshield pallets, which are support structures for the sunshield. Afterward, the 
observatory’s Deployable Tower Assembly, which separates the upper and lower halves of Webb, extends. This 
is necessary to provide clearance to allow the rest of the sunshield to deploy. The rest of the week is devoted 
to finishing sunshield deployment – extending the sunshield s telescoping booms and unfolding and tensioning 
each of Webb’s five sunshield layer .
Webb’s second week of deployments focuses on the telescope. The tripod holding the secondary mirror unfolds 
and extends the secondary mirror ahead of the primary mirror. This is followed by unfolding the mirror segment 
wings on the sides of the primary mirror, revealing all 18 mirror segments in space.
Million-Mile Journey
Webb deploys as it travels to its destination of L2, a million miles away from Earth. About one month after 
launch, a mid-course correction places Webb into its final orbit a ound L2. More about L2 can be found in the 
Orbit section.
Webb begins to cool during the deployment process itself: Following the sunshield deployment, the mirrors and 
instruments quickly start to cool in the shade of the sunshield. After Webb achieves its L2 orbit, the observatory 
takes about a week to cool down to a point where its NIRCam instrument can start operating to support 
telescope alignment. It takes roughly three additional weeks to get the shaded portion of the observatory down 
to its extremely cold operating temperatures of less than -380 degrees Fahrenheit (around 40 kelvins).
Because Webb’s MIRI instrument uses a cryocooler to reach its significantly lower operating temperatu es of 
-447 degrees Fahrenheit (7 kelvins), it independently takes much longer to achieve its full cooldown – just under 
100 days after launch.
Telescope Alignment
Once Webb is sufficiently cool, ebb’s NIRCam instrument is able to help determine that light is correctly 
following its path through the mirrors and instruments. Next is the process of adjusting each of the individual 
primary mirror segments.
Through a process called wavefront sensing and control, the NIRCam instrument measures any imperfections in 
the alignment of the mirror segments that prevent them from working as a single mirror. The mirror segments are 
aligned to within a fraction of a wavelength of near-infrared light, or mere nanometers.
Telescope alignment of both the primary and secondary mirror is completed about four months after launch.
Instrument Calibrations and Check Out
In the final months of commissioning, ebb points at a variety of representative science targets to test, characterize, and begin to calibrate all of the instrument capabilities. Data is collected using each observing mode of 
each instrument and then run through data reduction pipelines to ensure accuracy and precision. Further calibration programs happen during the first year of science, to understand the limits and sensitivities of the various
modes and capabilities.
Science Operations
Routine science operations begin after about six months of commissioning, when all mirrors have been aligned 
and all instruments have been calibrated. 
Science Operations
Science Programs and Execution
The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) oversees the science operations behind the James Webb Space 
Telescope. STScI provides researchers with the tools needed to plan and execute operations and organizes 
proposal reviews and investigation selection, all completed through a dual-anonymous review system to reduce 
bias in the selection process. Science operations will begin following the telescope’s six-month commissioning 
period, kicked off with the first in edible images and spectra.
There are several key categories of science programs 
that account for Webb’s observation time:
General Observer: Through this program, any astronomer in the world can apply for time and funding to use 
Webb for a specific investigation. These p ograms are selected by a dual-anonymous peer-review process, 
similar to other Great Observatories. The Cycle 1 General Observer programs have been selected and include 
280 programs, submitted by 2264 investigators from 41 countries and 43 U.S. states. 
Guaranteed Time Observations: These programs are designed by members of the instrument and telescope 
science teams, as well as a number of interdisciplinary scientists who supplied knowledge to help develop the 
Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science: These observations are designed to demonstrate Webb’s 
capabilities and provide preliminary datasets for use by the global scientific communit . They will be completed 
in the first several months of science operations and include 13 p ograms with 253 investigators from 18 
countries and 22 U.S. states.
Early Release Science observations take place within the first few months of science operations, while
Guaranteed Time Observation programs are scheduled within the first few years of the observatory s lifetime. 
General Observer programs take place over the mission lifetime, with the call for proposals taking place yearly.
Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST)
All Webb data will be stored at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at STScI. STScI provides 
secure storage and reliable retrieval services for observational data, creates user-friendly and scientifically useful
search tools, develops fully processed data products that are ready for scientific analysis, and offers suppor
services to the astronomical community. Data in MAST is accessible online to the scientific community and the
general public. MAST hosts data from over a dozen missions like Hubble, Kepler, and TESS, with a primary focus 
on scientifically elated datasets in the optical, ultraviolet, and near-infrared parts of the spectrum.
The James Webb Space Telescope represents a giant leap forward in our quest to understand the universe and 
our origins. How did the universe begin? Are we alone in the cosmos? Webb will help us answer scientifically
significant questions about the early universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, the birth of stars and p otoplanetary systems, and the properties of planets within and outside our solar system. Webb is the first obse -
vatory capable of observing the very earliest galaxies, and perhaps even some of the first exploding stars
Webb detects light outside the visible range to show us otherwise hidden regions of space at the near-infrared 
and mid-infrared wavelengths. With its longer wavelengths, infrared radiation can penetrate dense molecular 
clouds, whose dust blocks most of the light detectable by the Hubble Space Telescope’s instruments.
Why Infrared?
Webb will study infrared light from celestial objects with much greater clarity and sensitivity than ever before. 
Unlike the short, tight wavelengths of visible light, longer wavelengths of infrared light slip past dust more easily. 
Therefore, the universe of star and planet formation “hidden” behind clouds of dust comes into clear view for 
Webb’s infrared instruments.
Studying infrared light also helps us see closer back to the beginning of everything. Through a process called 
cosmological redshifting, light is stretched as the universe expands, so light from stars that is emitted in shorter 
ultraviolet and visible wavelengths is stretched to the longer wavelengths of infrared light.
Webb is an improved combination of the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes — Hubble’s sensitivity and 
resolution, but Spitzer’s view of the infrared universe.
Why Spectroscopy?
Spectroscopy is a powerful tool to learn about distant objects in the universe. A spectrum, like an image, is a 
way to display light from a distant object. Spectra can reveal which elements and molecules make up an object. 
Webb’s spectrographs stretch light out so that it can be analyzed in detail to determine characteristics, such 
as temperature, composition, density, distance, and motion, of diffe ent particles. Diffe ent molecules as well 
as atoms of each element emit and absorb characteristic frequencies of light, and these characteristics allow 
identification of the p esence of an element, even in small quantities. Spectra allows us to read this light. Webb 
is equipped with eleven modes of spectroscopy, each of which combine the use of diffe ent filters and detectors
to address specific scientific questio . NIRSpec’s microshutter array gives Webb the ability to capture spectra 
from dozens of diffe ent stars or galaxies at the same time.
Search for the first galaxies formed
in the early universe
Observe the formation of stars, from 
young stellar nurseries to the formation 
of planetary systems
Study galaxies near and far to inform 
the evolution of galaxies
Measure physical and chemical 
properties of planetary systems, 
including our own solar system, and 
investigate the potential for life in 
those systems
Mission Goals
The Unexpected and Unknown
Webb also has the capacity to reveal completely unexpected aspects of our universe, as Hubble has done. 
Webb’s observations, which are designed to answer specific scientific questions, f ge additional questions that 
can be addressed in future observation cycles and by future missions and observatories, such as the Nancy 
Grace Roman Space Telescope.
It is designed to explore a time period known as the 
Epoch of Reionization, which came after the dark 
ages that followed the big bang. During the dark 
ages, the universe was cast in a gaseous fog of 
neutral hydrogen and helium, making it opaque to 
some types of light. As the first luminous objects
formed and evolved, the high-energy light they 
emitted ionized the gas through which it propagated, 
making it more transparent.
How did the universe become completely ionized, 
or transparent, eventually leading to the “clear” 
conditions detected in much of the universe today?
To find the first galaxies Webb will make ultra-deep 
near-infrared surveys of the universe. This capability, 
combined with unprecedented resolution and 
sensitivity, will allow Webb to take us farther than ever 
in answering our questions about the early eras of 
our universe.
Webb will aim to help us piece together how the universe developed 
by directly observing when it was young. 
Webb will address several key questions to help 
us unravel the story of the formation of structures 
in the universe.
When and how did reionization occur?
What sources cause reionization?
What are the first galaxies?
Over Time
Galaxies host stars, planets, gas, dust, and life as we know it. They 
show us how the matter in the universe is organized on large scales.
From the way matter is constructed at the subatomic 
particle level to the immense structures of galaxies 
and dark matter that span the cosmos, each scale 
Webb studies will give important clues as to how the 
universe is built and evolves.
The distribution of galaxies can help scientists 
investigate dark matter and dark energy throughout 
our universe. Webb is designed to study all stages 
and ages of galactic evolution. Webb will capture 
light from the first galaxies in their beginning stages
of development after the big bang; measure star 
formation rates within galaxies near and far; and 
create detailed maps of gas, dust, and even dark 
matter in our local universe.
Webb’s studies are designed to help us understand 
the diversity of galaxy composition and structure 
over space and time; how galaxies, like our own 
home galaxy, form, interact, and change; and how 
supermassive black holes and their host galaxies 
influence each other
How are galaxies formed?
How do they change?
How are the chemical elements distributed 
through the galaxies? 
What happens when small and large galaxies 
collide or join together?
Stars are the essential sources of raw material in the universe — 
they recycle and distribute the elemental building blocks of everything 
we observe: new stars, nebulae of gas and dust, planets, and even 
humans. All life on Earth contains the element carbon, and all carbon 
was originally formed in the core of a star. 
Webb’s infrared capabilities allow scientists to 
probe deeply into star-forming regions to study the 
conditions that lead to new stellar systems and 
investigate stellar nurseries where very young stars 
live. Webb’s mid-infrared wavelengths will study the
dust itself, and how those environments contribute 
to the formation, evolution, and diversity of stars and 
planetary systems. It will also analyze the composition 
and structure of the interstellar medium, cold 
molecular clouds that collapse to form stars, and the 
gas and dust ejected from dying stars. 
Webb’s observations are designed to answer 
questions surrounding star formation and evolution, 
stellar populations, star diversity, interactions between 
stars and their environment, and relationships 
between stars and planets:
How do clouds of gas and dust collapse to form 
Why do most stars form in groups?
Exactly how do planetary systems form?
How do stars evolve and release the heavy 
elements they produce back into space for 
recycling into new generations of stars and 
The surfaces and atmospheres of objects, such as moons, planets, 
and exoplanets, within planetary systems, including our own solar 
system, can provide insights into our understanding of the natural 
universe and our place within it.
Webb will study the atmospheres of exoplanets – 
planets orbiting other stars – to determine which 
molecules and elements exist there and what they 
indicate about the world. Webb expands on the work 
of other observatories like Kepler, TESS, Hubble, and 
ALMA in detecting and characterizing fully grown 
planets, planets in the process of forming, and 
protoplanetary disks orbiting other stars in the 
Milky Way. 
Webb’s infrared capabilities will also allow 
astronomers to characterize the surfaces and 
atmospheres of objects within our own solar system, 
including planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and 
Kuiper Belt Objects. Astronomers hope to better 
understand how other planetary bodies in our solar 
system have evolved over time and compare them to 
Earth, potentially unlocking clues to the origins of our 
planet and life as we know it.
The surfaces and atmospheres of objects can provide 
insights into our understanding of planetary systems:
Are there other Earth-like planets?
How many different types of 
exoplanets exist?
What is the origin and evolution of 
rock-, ice-, and gas-rich objects in 
our solar system?
How is our solar system similar to or different 
than other planetary systems?
As the largest and most complex space science telescope ever sent 
into space, the James Webb Space Telescope is a technological 
marvel. By necessity, Webb takes on-orbit deployments to the extreme.
The observatory is made up of three main sections: the optics and scientific instruments, the sunshield, and the
spacecraft bus. Webb is an infrared telescope, which presents two main challenges for engineers and scientists: 
The mirror needs to be very large to collect enough light, and it has to be kept cold to keep unwanted sources 
of infrared from interfering with the light being observed. The sunshield divides Webb’s two sides: a hot side 
facing the Sun and Earth where the spacecraft bus sits, and a cold side facing out into space, away from the 
Sun and Earth. 
To enable the cooling process, unlike the Hubble Space Telescope and the typical backyard telescope, Webb 
employs an open design. Placing the telescope and instrument package behind a large sunshield exposed with 
a wide view to space, rather than inside a long tube, allows the telescope to easily radiate its heat away and get 
extremely cold passively.
From construction to testing to integration, engineers and scientists developed many innovations and state-ofthe-art technologies to ensure Webb’s successful operations once in space. 
A Three-Mirror System
FORM AND FUNCTION: Webb’s primary mirror is one of the most distinctive features of the observatory. 
The 21.5-foot (6.5-meter) concave mirror is made up of 18 hexagonal-shaped mirror segments, each 
4.3 feet (1.32 meters) in diameter, flat to fla
A telescope’s sensitivity, or how much detail it can 
see, is directly related to the size of the mirror area that 
collects light from the objects being observed. A larger 
surface area collects more light, just like a larger bucket 
collects more water in a rain shower than a small one. 
A mirror this large has never before been launched 
into space. In fact, Webb’s primary mirror is so large 
that it is unable to fit inside any ocket available in its 
fully extended form. Six mirror segments (three on either 
side) are folded up at launch and deployed once the 
telescope is in space.
The hexagonal shape of Webb’s primary mirror allows 
for a roughly circular, segmented mirror, without any significant gaps taking up space between the segm nts. The 
primary mirror is segmented to decrease the weight of the overall mirror, as a single, very large mirror would be 
prohibitively massive and also require a tremendously massive support structure. Each segment of Webb’s mirror 
has been made movable so that they can co-align to work as a single large optic. A roughly circular shape also 
helps focus the light into the most compact region on the detectors.
Webb’s secondary mirror is a smaller, round, convex mirror only 2.4 feet (0.74 meters) in diameter. It is supported 
by three 25-foot-long (7.6-meter-long) struts, or arms, that extend from the primary mirror. These struts are folded 
up for launch and will stretch out during deployment.
The tertiary and fine steering mir ors are located within the black nose cone protruding from the center of Webb’s 
primary mirror, known as the Aft Optics Subsystem (AOS). Light that is captured by the primary mirror gets directed onto the secondary mirror, which sends light onto the tertiary mirror and lastly the fine steering mir or before 
reaching focus at the science instruments arrayed immediately behind the primary mirror.
MATERIALS: Webb’s mirrors are made of beryllium and coated with a microscopically thin layer of gold, which 
optimizes them for reflecting infra ed light. The average thickness of the gold is just 1,000 angstroms (100 
nanometers) – only about 700 atoms thick and about a thousand times thinner than a human hair. 
Beryllium was selected as the primary material for Webb’s mirrors because it is light yet strong for its weight, and 
good at holding its shape across the cryogenic range of temperatures. These characteristics are ideal for Webb, 
as the primary mirror must be both extremely large and extremely cold in order to fulfill its scientific goals in spac
Engineering Challenges
SIZE AND WEIGHT: The Webb team had to find new ways to build the mir or so that it would be light enough – only 
one-tenth of the mass of Hubble’s mirror per unit area – yet very strong. Each of Webb’s beryllium mirror segments 
weighs only approximately 46 pounds (20 kilograms).
EXTREME TEMPERATURES: Webb’s mirror must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures – less than 50 kelvins (less 
than -223 degrees Celsius, or -370 degrees Fahrenheit). Typically, materials shrink as they get cold, and because 
Webb’s mirrors and instruments were built at room temperature but will operate at extremely cold temperatures, 
engineers had to build the Webb telescope “precisely wrong” to ensure its components would shrink to the right 
shape and dimensions once in space. 
FOCUS: One hundred and thirty-two actuators, or tiny mechanical motors, provide the answer to achieving a single 
perfect focus by allowing the primary mirror segments to be aligned as if they are one perfect single mirror.
A Five-Layer Feat of Engineering
FORM AND FUNCTION: Webb’s kite-shaped sunshield is roughly the size of a tennis court and carefully 
constructed of five layers. The outermost layer is only 0.002 inches (0.05 millimeters) thick, while each of the
other four layers are 0.001 inches (0.025 millimeters) thick. All of the layers are slightly diffe ent sizes and shapes, with 
the outermost layer relatively flat and the la gest, and the innermost layer more curved and the smallest. The layers are 
also closer together at the center and farther apart at the edges.
The specific number of layers will allow enough hea 
to be blocked and redirected by the sunshield so that 
the telescope can reach its extremely cold operating 
temperatures, with some built-in margin. The light but 
durable layers are separated to reduce the transfer of heat 
from one layer to the next, meaning that each successive 
layer of the sunshield will be cooler than the one below 
it. Together, the five layers educe exposure from the Sun 
by a factor of one million, from over 200 kilowatts to a 
fraction of a watt.
The sunshield will act as a divider between the 
observatory’s “warm side” and “cold side.” 
The “warm side” refers to the parts of the observatory that will face the Sun. The sunshield’s layer that faces the Sun 
will get as hot as 383 kelvins, or about 230 degrees Fahrenheit! Meanwhile, the “cold side” with the mirrors and science 
instruments must be kept at cryogenic temperatures in order to detect extremely faint heat signals in the universe. The 
layer of the sunshield closest to Webb’s optics will get as cold as 36 kelvins, or about -394 degrees Fahrenheit. The 
vantage point of Webb’s orbit at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point enables the observatory to keep its optics and 
instruments shaded from heat and light of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, which would interfere with sensitive infrared 
MATERIALS: The sunshield membranes are made of Kapton, a material with extensive heritage on spacecraft 
that has high heat-resistance and remains stable across a wide range of temperatures. Each layer of the 
sunshield is coated with aluminum, and the two layers closest to the Sun have an additional silicon coating that 
has been treated (“doped”) to make it electrically conductive. The silicon coating is about 50 nanometers thick, 
while the aluminum coating is about 100 nanometers thick. More about the sunshield coating.
Engineering Challenges
PACKING AND STOWING: Folding and stowing the sunshield involved carefully taking into account how the structure would unfold in space. The challenges of this process were made more complex by the delicacy of the thin 
layers and the sunshield’s intricate shape.
UNFOLDING: There are 107 “pins,” or membrane release devices, that restrain the sunshield in its folded 
configuration but will elease to unfold the sunshield. An elaborate system of motors, pulleys, and cables 
actuates and extends the sunshield structure and deploys and tensions the five membrane layers into a very
precise configuration
WEAR AND TEAR: The sunshield layers are constructed with ripstops to minimize potential damage if smaller 
holes form from debris and micrometeorites. This has been shown through testing to arrest tears from 
EXTREME TEMPERATURES: The material of the sunshield must work over a very wide range of temperatures and 
not become brittle and fracture when extremely cold nor become soft and stretch when searing hot. 
Spacecraft Bus
The spacecraft bus provides the necessary support functions for the operation of the observatory. Webb’s 
spacecraft bus is home to six major subsystems:
ELECTRICAL POWER SUBSYSTEM: The Electrical Power Subsystem converts sunlight shining on the solar 
array panels into the electrical power needed to operate everything on the observatory, and distributes it to all 
ATTITUDE CONTROL SUBSYSTEM: The Attitude Control Subsystem senses the orientation of the observatory, 
maintains the observatory in a stable orbit, and provides the coarse pointing of the observatory to the area of sky 
that the instruments will observe.
COMMUNICATION SUBSYSTEM: The Communication Subsystem is the “ears and mouth” for the observatory. The 
system receives commands from and transmits data back to the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Mission 
Operations Center.
COMMAND AND DATA HANDLING (C&DH) SUBSYSTEM: The Command and Data Handling (C&DH) Subsystem is 
the “brain” of the spacecraft bus. The system has a computer, the Command Telemetry Processor (CTP), that 
takes in the commands from the Communications Subsystem and directs them to the appropriate recipient. The 
C&DH also has the memory/data storage device for the observatory, the Solid-State Recorder (SSR). The CTP 
will control the interaction between the science instruments, the SSR, and the Communications Subsystem.
THERMAL CONTROL SUBSYSTEM: The Thermal Control Subsystem maintains the operating temperature of the 
spacecraft bus, helping to ensure the observatory is at the proper operating temperature at all times.
PROPULSION SUBSYSTEM: The Propulsion Subsystem contains the fuel tanks and rocket engines that, when 
directed by the Attitude Control Subsystem, are fi ed to maintain the orbit and to help manage momentum. 
More about how Webb manages momentum.
Pointing the Webb Telescope
To turn and point at diffe ent objects in space, Webb uses six reaction wheels that store and exchange angular 
momentum to rotate the observatory. The reaction wheels work in combination with three star trackers and six 
gyroscopes that provide feedback on where the observatory is pointing and how fast it is turning. This achieves 
“coarse” pointing (arcminutes) sufficient to point the telescope at the right part of the s , enough for the Fine 
Guidance Sensor (FGS) instrument to “take over” and achieve the “fine” pointing (a cseconds) necessary for 
observing. The Fine Steering Mirror (FSM) will be used to compensate for any minute vibrations aboard the 
observatory and steady the beam of light coming from the telescope and going into the science instruments to 
achieve milli-arcsecond precision. The FSM will also be used to do very small angle repointings, such as viewing 
the same object by diffe ent instruments, without having to move the whole observatory. 
More about Webb’s gyroscopes.
Instruments and Capabilities 
Webb’s unprecedented scientific power is a function of both the size of its primary mir or and the extreme 
sensitivity and precision of its four scientific instruments. ebb’s instruments are contained within the Integrated 
Science Instrument Module (ISIM), which is what engineers refer to as the main payload. The ISIM is situated 
on the cold side of the telescope, protected by Webb’s sunshield from the visible and infrared light of the Sun, 
Earth, and Moon. 
The definition of the kelvin temperatu e scale is that 0 kelvins is “absolute zero,” the lowest possible 
temperature. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Celsius, or about 273 kelvins. The nearinfrared instruments (NIRCam, NIRSpec, FGS/NIRISS) will work at about 39 kelvins (-234 degrees Celsius or 
-389 degrees Fahrenheit) through a passive cooling system. The mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) will work at 
a temperature of 7 kelvins (-266 degrees Celsius or -447 degrees Fahrenheit), using a helium refrigerator, or 
cryocooler system.
There are two overarching observation modes in which Webb can operate: imaging and spectroscopy. Webb’s 
four science instruments will receive the light collected by the telescope and use a variety of tools – cameras, 
spectrographs, coronagraphs, and other specialized pieces – designed to maximize the scientific knowledge
gained from every observation. Each instrument also has a field of view that is unique in a ea, shape, and 
orientation. In some cases, diffe ent observing modes within an instrument cover fields of view of diff ent sizes 
and shapes.
Webb’s four instruments are specially designed to use specific observation modes, components, and field o
view to learn more about a wide range of objects in space, including stars, planets, galaxies, and dark energy.
Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam)
NIRCam provides high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy for a wide variety of investigations. NIRCam 
is Webb’s primary imager and operates over a wavelength range of 0.6 to 5 microns, where dust becomes 
transparent. NIRCam is equipped with coronagraphs, instruments that allow astronomers to take pictures of 
very faint, dim objects around a central bright object by blocking the bright light source, useful in investigations 
seeking to determine characteristics of planets orbiting nearby stars. NIRCam was built by a team at the 
University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec)
NIRSpec is considered a very versatile tool of Webb’s for near-infrared spectroscopy. NIRSpec operates over 
a wavelength range of 0.6 to 5 microns. In addition to standard single-slit spectroscopy to gather spectra 
of specific objects, NIRSpec is designed to observe 100 objects simultaneously – the first spec ograph in 
space with this multi-object capability. This is called a “microshutter array.” NIRSpec’s microshutter cells, each 
approximately as wide as a human hair, have lids that open and close when a magnetic field is applied. Each
cell can be controlled individually, allowing it to be opened or closed to view or block a portion of the sky.
NIRSpec was built for the European Space Agency by Airbus Industries with the microshutter array and detector 
subsystems fabricated by NASA.
Near-Infrared Slitless Spectrograph/Fine Guidance Sensor (NIRISS/FGS)
NIRISS provides near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic capabilities. As the only instrument equipped with an 
aperture mask, NIRISS has the unique ability to capture images of bright objects at a resolution greater than the 
other imagers. NIRISS operates over a wavelength of 0.6 to 5 microns. NIRISS is a contribution of the Canadian 
Space Agency. 
Housed in the same assembly as NIRISS is Webb’s Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS). The FGS is a camera system designed to make sure Webb is stable and pointing in exactly the right direction throughout the observation. The FGS 
detects and identifies guide stars and ensu es that Webb is locked onto those stars for the entire observation.
Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI)
MIRI provides imaging and spectroscopy capabilities in the mid-infrared wavelengths. MIRI is equipped with 
a camera, coronagraphs, spectrographs, and an integral field unit, which is a combination of amera and 
spectrograph used to capture and map spectra across a field of vie . MIRI operates over a wavelength range of 
5 to 28 microns. As the only mid-infrared instrument, astronomers rely on MIRI to study redshifted light of distant 
galaxies, newly forming stars, faintly visible comets, and objects in the Kuiper Belt.
Because MIRI sees farther into the infrared than the other instruments, it has to be kept even colder than its 
counterparts. Webb’s two-stage cryocooler works like the world’s most effective efrigerator, pumping a warmthabsorbing gas through the instrument. The first stage brings MIRI s temperature down to 18 kelvins, and the 
second stage brings the MIRI detectors to below 7 kelvins — that’s just 7 degrees above absolute zero, the 
theoretical temperature at which all motion freezes, even the movement of atoms.
MIRI was provided by the European Consortium with the European Space Agency and by NASA’s Jet Propulsion 
Integration and Testing
Building an infrared observatory of this magnitude, power, and 
complexity has never been attempted before. 
In order to ensure seamless operation in space, the cutting-edge technology incorporated into Webb was 
rigorously tested prior to launch. Due to its large size and unique shape the entire Webb observatory cannot be 
tested as one fully assembled unit in a simulation of the environment it will operate in.
It is also infeasible to replicate the cold environment 
for the space-facing telescope and instruments, and 
the hot environment on the Sun-facing side of the 
sunshield, and run end-to-end optical tests on the 
whole deployed observatory in a vacuum chamber. 
This led engineers to test and qualify the observatory 
in two halves – the telescope and instruments as one 
unit, and the combined spacecraft bus and sunshield 
as the other. 
Each half was put through qualification levels of
acoustic and sine sweep vibration, to simulate 
launch conditions, followed by performance testing 
in a thermal-vacuum chamber, and then following 
assembly of these two ‘super-elements’ the 
observatory was subjected to additional acoustics 
and sine sweep vibration testing to verify the 
workmanship of the final assembl . 
All flight-deployable items on the observatory we e 
deployed multiple times to ensure they will work 
once in space, including offloading weight to deplo
mechanisms designed to work in the weightlessness 
of space.
Innovations and Spinoffs
Technological Innovations
The James Webb Telescope will have a unique and profound role in transforming our understanding of 
astrophysics and the origins of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems. In order to carry out its mission, 10 
innovative and powerful new technologies ranging from optics to detectors to thermal control systems have 
been developed.
Wavefront algorithms
Wavefront sensing and control is used to sense and correct any errors in the telescope’s 
optics, which is essential in ensuring all of Webb’s 18 segments successfully function as a 
single giant mirror. Ball Aerospace engineered a scaled telescope testbed to develop and 
demonstrate this technology. More about wavefront algorithms.
Infrared detectors
Light from faint astronomical objects is converted into faint electrical signals by the detectors in each of the 
James Webb Space Telescope’s scientific instruments. ebb needs extraordinarily sensitive detectors to record 
the feeble light from far-away galaxies, stars, and planets. It needs large-area arrays of detectors to efficientl
survey the sky. Webb uses two types of detectors in order to sense shorter or longer wavelength light.
Near-infrared detectors
Webb’s near-infrared detectors are mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgCdTe) “H2RG” detectors that cover 0.6 to 5 microns. By varying the ratio of mercury to cadmium, it is possible 
to tune the material to sense longer or shorter wavelength light. Webb takes advantage of 
this by using two compositions of mercury-cadmium-telluride: one with proportionally less 
mercury for 0.6 to 2.5 microns, and another with more for 0.6 to 5 microns.
Mid-infrared detectors
Webb’s mid-infrared detectors are made of arsenic doped silicon and cover 5 to 28 microns.
Webb’s MIRI instrument carries detectors that need to be at a temperature of less than 7 
kelvins to operate properly. This temperature is not possible on Webb by passive means 
alone, so Webb carries an innovative “cryocooler” that is dedicated to cool MIRI’s detectors. 
More about the cryocooler.
Microshutter array
Microshutters are tiny windows with shutters that each measure 100 by 200 microns, 
or about the size of a bundle of only a few human hairs. The microshutter device can 
select many objects in one viewing field for simultaneous high- esolution observation. 
This means more scientific investigations a e carried out in less time.
More about the microshutter array.
Cryogenic data acquisition integrated circuit
These detector output signals aboard Webb are very susceptible to being overwhelmed 
by electrical noise. Therefore, converting analog signals to digital ones right near the 
detectors before sending them through wires to other processing and communications 
electronics away from the instruments is key to Webb science data integrity and quality, 
and consequently scientific measu ement sensitivity. 
More about the cryogenic data acquisition integrated circuit.
Sunshield coatings
The sunshield’s membrane layers, each as thin as a human hair, are made of Kapton, a 
tough, high-performance plastic coated with a reflective metal. Each layer is coated with
aluminum, and the Sun-facing sides of the two hottest layers also have a “doped-silicon” 
(or treated silicon) coating to reflect the Sun s heat back into space. 
More about the sunshield coatings. 
Lightweight cryogenic mirrors
A telescope’s sensitivity, or how much detail it can see, is directly related to the size of the 
mirror area that collects light from the objects being observed. Webb’s large mirror needs 
to be very cold so the faint infrared light from distant galaxies would not be lost in the 
infrared glow of the mirror. More about the lightweight cryogenic mirrors. 
Heat switches
The need to protect instruments from contamination during cooldown, and to decontaminate 
them in the event of an anomaly, requires the capability to warm the instruments. Webb 
could use heat switches to temporarily break the thermal path from the instruments to their 
radiators, allowing power-efficient warming of the instrument
Lightweight cryogenic backplane
The backplane must carry more than 2.5 tons of hardware, including Webb’s primary 
mirror and Integrated Science Instruments Module (ISIM). It is required to be essentially 
motionless and extremely steady so the mirrors can see far into deep space. To meet this 
requirement, the backplane was engineered to be steady down to 32 nanometers.
Webb Spinoffs
As with other NASA missions and projects, specialized technologies 
developed for the James Webb Space Telescope over the mission’s 
lifetime have also benefited life on Earth.
HELPING HUMAN EYES: In the testing of Webb’s powerful mirrors, “wavefront sensing” is used to measure the 
shape of the mirrors during fabrication and control the optics once the telescope is in orbit. A new “scanning and 
stitching” technology developed for the Webb telescope led to a number of innovative instrument concepts for 
more accurate measurement for contact lenses and intraocular lenses. The scanning and stitching technology 
improvements have enabled eye doctors to get much more detailed information about the shape and “topography” of your eye, and in seconds rather than hours.
HELPING IMPROVE HUBBLE’S VIEW: Webb investments in cryogenic Application-Specific Integrated Ci cuits 
(ASICs) led to the development of the ASICs that are now flying on the Hubble Space elescope. This is a unique 
example of “future heritage”: a program that was in development (Webb) invented a technology for a program 
well into the operations phase (Hubble). ASICs are small, specialized integrated circuits that enable an entire 
circuit board’s worth of electronics to be condensed into a very small package. Webb’s investments into this 
technology allowed the ASICs to be programmable, which was important in the repair of Hubble’s Advanced 
Camera for Surveys that has produced stunning views of our universe.
LASER INTERFEROMETERS: One of the toughest challenges for Webb engineers was to find a way to test mir ors 
and composite structures at the incredibly cold -450 degree Fahrenheit temperature they will operate in space. 
With the desired precision of nanometers, vibration is a constant problem. To solve that problem, 4D Technology 
Corporation of Tucson, Arizona, has developed several new types of high-speed test devices that utilize pulsed 
lasers that essentially “freeze out” the effects of vibration
DETECTOR TECHNOLOGY IMPROVING OTHER TELESCOPES: The benefits of the nea -infrared detectors 
developed for Webb’s instruments have already spread far and wide in the world of science. Infrared sensors 
based on the technology developed for Webb are now the universal choice for astronomical observations, 
both from space and the ground. This technology is also being used for Earth science and national security 
missions. An early pathfinder version of ebb’s HAWAII-2RG 4 Megapixel array has been used in several NASA 
missions including Hubble, Deep Impact/EPOXI, WISE, and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, and the HAWAII2RG is already in use at dozens of ground-based observatories around the world. The availability of these 
high-performance detectors developed for Webb has been critical to a breathtaking collection of missions, both 
present and future.
IMPROVING ELECTRIC MOTORS: NASA Planetary Gear System technology developed to give precise nanometer 
positioning capabilities for Webb is now being employed by Turnkey Design Services, LLC (TDS), of Blue Island, 
Illinois, to improve electric motors. This revolutionary piece of technology allows more efficient operation of th
motors and is more cost-effective than traditional gearbox designs
NASA Headquarters Leadership
NASA Administrator
Sen. Bill Nelson
Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Thomas Zurbuchen
Director of the Astrophysics Division
Paul Hertz
Director of the James Webb Space Telescope Program
Gregory L. Robinson
Program Manager of the James Webb Space Telescope Program
Jeanne Davis
Program Scientist of the James Webb Space Telescope Program Chief Scientist of the Astrophysics Division
Eric P. Smith
Deputy Program Scientist of the James Webb Space Telescope Program Education and Public Outreach Lead 
for the Astrophysics Division
Hashima Hasan
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Project Leadership
Project Managers
Project Manager
Bill Ochs
Deputy Project Manager
John Durning
Deputy Project Manager/Technical
Paul Geithner
Mission Integration and Test (I&T) Manager
Mark Voyton
Business Manager
Robyn O’Mara
Mission Systems Engineer
Mike Menzel
Project Scientists
Senior Project Scientist
John Mather
Deputy Senior Project Scientist
Jonathan Gardner
Deputy Project Scientist for Communications
Amber Straughn
Observatory Project Scientist
Michael McElwain
Integrated Science Instrument Module Project Scientist
Matthew Greenhouse
Integration, Test, and Commissioning Project Scientist
Randy Kimble
Operations Project Scientist
Jane Rigby
Meet the entire NASA Webb team
Space Telescope Science Institute Leadership
Institute Leadership
Kenneth Sembach
Deputy Director
Nancy Levenson
Associate Director for Science
Neill Reid
Associate Director for Administration
Don Hough
Mission Leadership
Mission Office Head
Massimo Stiavelli
Project Manager
David Hunter
Mission Scientist
Jeff alenti
Northrop Grumman James Webb Telescope Leadership
Vice President and Program Manager
Scott Willoughby
Deputy Program Manager
Vince Heeg
Chief Engineer
Charlie Atkinson
Director for Vehicle Engineering
James Flynn
Commissioning Scientist
Scott Friedman
Project Scientist
Klaus Pontoppidan
Deputy Project Scientist
Susan Mullally
Project Scientist for Webb Science Communications
Alexandra Lockwood
Mission System Engineer
Margaret Jordan
Flight Operations Manager
Rusty Whitman
Flight Operations Team Lead
Amanda Arvai
Deputy Director for Vehicle Engineering
Amy Lo, Ph.D.
Director, Integration and Test
Ray Coyle
Director, Ground Operations
Wallace Jackson
Director, Commissioning and Risk Management
Bridget Samuelson
Rev 1.05

< page 9

... The Webb telescope is the scientific successor to the iconic Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, built to
complement and further the discoveries of Hubble, Spitzer, and other NASA missions by accessing the nearinfrared and mid-infrared wavelengths with unprecedented resolution. 


 SUBJECT: No country - would be more pleased to see the JWST "fail" - than China (  https://phys.org/news/2021-06-black-hole-center-milky-mass.html  )

Dear James Webb Observatory related persons... [ PLEASE FORWARD TO JOHN MATHER - JWST at NASA ] 

My married name is Susan Neuhart. ( I am a retired person - living in ... - Ohio ). Prior to my retirement - I worked in "high-technology" - in CA, FL, AZ, Ohio, etc.. My typical title was "Software Engineering Technical Writer". I was paid - as a "consultant" - and created End User manuals - for American companies - seeking to sell "high-technology" products - to English speaking humans. My previous resume' is available on my "personal" web site. I do not sell any products; AND, I enjoy being retired. My web site - is for my personal entertainment. I can code HTML pages - and, "coding HTML"  is a form of rehabilitation (from a stroke event) - for me. Thus, I was "mildly" interested in the James Webb Telescope Observatory's progress. 

As a "technical document writer" - I can appreciate "unavoidable" delays. For example ... I documented software for the US Military, US National Science Foundation and US commercial entities. I also "coded" software - for Battelle Research, etc. ... I created the "AUTOMATED" REQUIREMENTS TRACEABILITY MATRIX - FOR GE (1986). AND, in fact, I created the End User manual - for "SPEED2000” EDA software - prior to its purchase - by CADENCE ( for $83 Million USD - circa 2010). My co-workers were from China & India. DR Jiayuan Fang (PhD) - the owner of the company - still in existence [ "SIGRITY" - Santa Clara, CA] is a world authority in microprocessor Signal Integrity software & systems development.

You may know [that] Keithley Instruments - located in Solon, Ohio - is a major contractor - on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  Related to this, I did (on 10-27-2021) read the year 2019 news story - TITLE: "Keithley Instruments (KI) to move hundreds of manufacturing jobs to China - from Solon" Ohio. As you may recall, KI does design & manufacture "testing equipment" - related to CHIP manufacturing.  In fact, Printed Circuit Boards - containing many IC chips - are important components of the JWST. [ LINK ]


My co-workers did NOT want to return to China! They practiced speaking English with me. They bought homes – in California! Indeed, Bing could use "chop-sticks" - I did not. FUNNY STORY: What is called a "Dim-Sum" server - by Americans & Chinese people - is called a "lazy Susan" - in America . Everyone laughed & bowed - when she (Bing) introduced me - in California: "Susan Neuhart". They roared - with laughter - when I reported [that] I actually tried - to be a "waitress" - a "server" - but failed.

MANY* of my co-workers [and, I have worked all over the USA!] - were very fine ‘First Generation’ Americans. I could not have succeeded - at WHAT - I was paid very well to do - to create - without their help and patience - to "teach" - the American (so that) she can "teach" more Americans - HOW TO USE our software.

(* A DEC VAX/VMS employee - smacked me on my arse - when I [then 25 years old] was bent over a table [at UWGB] assisting another student - to develop code. A GENERAL ELECTRIC employee insisted that I "sign-off" - on my End User Manual - before, I was ready. A "Gay" male - became very angry - when I insisted [that] he should not "love coo" - to his partner - over the telephone - in the cubicle [that] we shared.  THESE WERE ALL WHITE CAUCASION MEN!  )

 However, no country - in the world - would be more pleased to see the James Webb Space -observatory - Telescope (JWST )"fail" - after it is launched - than China.  -- Then, they will launch their own “observatory” - AS A "SOLE SOURCE" SUPPLIER

 Specifically, the instruments, lenses and mirrors - are "origamically" folded into the ship's payload bay. AND, these instruments must be "unfolded" - and pointed – by on-board systems - over 1.5 million miles from Earth. [ https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/features/origami.html ]   As you may recall - from your Geometry (and trigonometry) classes - the slightest degree of mistake - has  very significant consequences - over long distances. All American baseball pitchers know this. [ AND, the ball is only traveling - from the Pitcher's mound - to the batter!]  In software (also) - we speak of "back doors" installed (in the software) - which, the "End User" is not aware of. This is the "stuff" of some Sci-fi" movies. However, to turn the design, manufacture, calibration [ and perhaps "testing"] - of the Webb Space Telescope - over to "company personnel" - residing in China - seems very odd to me.

 YES, YOU MAY CONTACT ME.  NOTE: Since my SAH@MCA stroke event - I do not - use a telephone ...  I do write Emails – like this one. PLEASE MAKE INQUIRIES - AS YOU CAN. Your "titles" make me think you have "access" - to KI personnel - and NASA "decision-makers".  I will do my best - to get the attention of ... NASA ... - using a "form" - etc.
 Again, I am retired. Please - be respectful of this fact. I perform YOGA poses - for Seniors - ONLY - to demonstrate [that] I am OK  My husband - of 39+ years - is (the digital artist) Hans Neuhart. What I did - to capture him - is called "cougaring". He also worked at NCR and GE.  My only daughter ( the former "Dawn Marie Burton" - born 1973 ) was an Employee of USA-FBI; She is now - a lead attorney for Twitter [DC]

 ALL BEST! - Susan  

 PS: I can help you - FOR FREE - to make software – [that] checks for installed “back doors” – if YOU need me - to help you. I first did this – at General Electric – Daytona Beach, Florida – offices – circa 1986. It is easy - if YOU know how. ( My husband – Hans Neuhart – must approve. Today, I live near Wright Patterson Air Force Base - and, I do NOT drive. ) :-)



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