Setting NASA's sights on the dawn and evolution of the universe.
Setting NASA's sights on the dawn and evolution of the universe.
The most powerful space telescope ever built will peer 13 billion light years into the past, observing the remnant light that holds the history of the universe. Called the James Webb Space Telescope, its highly sensitive mirrors will help capture the first luminous glow of the Big Bang's aftermath, the creation and evolution of galaxies and the formation of stars and planets. Such feats will require engineering and space hardware like nothing before it. The length of a Boeing 737, the Webb telescope will fold into a school bus-sized piece of origami in order to fit into a rocket for launch. Once in orbit 1 million miles from Earth, the Webb telescope will unfold like a Transformer and deploy a layered, reflective sun shield the size of a tennis court. Watch the video to learn more about this next-generation space observatory.


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Short URL to This Page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11142
Animation Number:
11142
Released:
2012-12-06
Completed:
2012-12-05
Animator:
Chris Meaney (HTSI)
Writer:
Laura Betz (Telophase)
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Mirror testing photo courtesy of NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Sun shield photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems


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The Webb mission is a collaboration among NASA and the European and Canadian  space agencies.
The Webb mission is a collaboration among NASA and the European and Canadian space agencies.
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The Webb's mirror assembly will be nearly three times the size of the mirror on its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Webb's mirror assembly will be nearly three times the size of the mirror on its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Preparing for the frigid void of space, six of the 18 primary mirror segments undergo cryogenic testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Preparing for the frigid void of space, six of the 18 primary mirror segments undergo cryogenic testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
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Engineers inspect one of the gold-plated beryllium mirror segments.
Engineers inspect one of the gold-plated beryllium mirror segments.
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The giant sun shield will keep the telescope at the proper temperature to make observations.
The giant sun shield will keep the telescope at the proper temperature to make observations.
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Members of the Webb team gather at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center around a full-scale model of the space telescope.
Members of the Webb team gather at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center around a full-scale model of the space telescope.
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