James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The observatory launched into space on an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana on December 25, 2021. After launch, the observatory was successfully unfolded and is being readied for science. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb's instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. Webb has a large primary mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade are too large to fit onto the Ariane 5 rocket fully open, so both were folded which meant they needed to be unfolded in space. Webb is currently in its operational orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth at a location known as Lagrange Point 2 (L2). The James Webb Space Telescope was named after the NASA Administrator who crafted the Apollo program, and who was a staunch supporter of space science.

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Webb Media Resource Highlights

Recent Releases

  • The Webb Telescope Completes Alignment Phase
    2022.05.02
    It is official, alignment of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is now complete. The alignment of the telescope across all of Webb’s instruments can be seen in a series of images that captures the observatory’s full field of view.   Featured in this video are engineering images demonstrating the sharp focus of each instrument. For this test, Webb pointed at part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, providing a dense field of hundreds of thousands of stars across all the observatory’s sensors. The sizes and positions of the images shown depict the relative arrangement of each of Webb’s instruments in the telescope’s focal plane, each pointing at a slightly offset part of the sky relative to one another. Webb’s three imaging instruments are NIRCam (images shown here at a wavelength of 2 microns), NIRISS (image shown here at 1.5 microns), and MIRI (shown at 7.7 microns, a longer wavelength revealing emission from interstellar clouds as well as starlight). NIRSpec is a spectrograph rather than imager but can take images, such as the 1.1 micron image shown here, for calibrations and target acquisition. The dark regions visible in parts of the NIRSpec data are due to structures of its microshutter array, which has several hundred thousand controllable shutters that can be opened or shut to select which light is sent into the spectrograph. Lastly, Webb’s Fine Guidance Sensor tracks guide stars to point the observatory accurately and precisely; its two sensors are not generally used for scientific imaging but can take calibration images such as those shown here. This image data is used not just to assess image sharpness but also to precisely measure and calibrate subtle image distortions and alignments between the instrument sensors as part of Webb’s overall instrument calibration process.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Alignment Press Conference Update
    2022.03.23
    The press conference covering the latest updated on the James Webb Space Telescope and the mirror alignment.
  • NASA’s Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, Optics Working Successfully
    2022.03.16
    NASA’s Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, Optics Working Successfully Following the completion of critical mirror alignment steps, the James Webb Space Telescope team has great confidence that the observatory’s optical performance will meet or exceed the science goals it was built to achieve. On March 11, the Webb team completed the stage of alignment known as “fine phasing” – and at this key stage in the commissioning of Webb’s Optical Telescope Element, every optical parameter that has been checked and tested is performing at, or above, expectations. The team found no critical issues and no measurable contamination or blockages to Webb’s optical path. The observatory is able to successfully gather light from distant objects and deliver it to its instruments without issue. Although there are months to go before Webb ultimately delivers its new view of the cosmos, achieving this milestone means the team is confident that Webb’s first-of-its-kind optical system is working as well as possible. Music Credit: Emerging Discovery Instrumental by Carter / Universal Production Music
  • Webb Sees Its First Star – 18 Times
    2022.02.11
    The James Webb Space Telescope is nearing completion of the first phase of the months-long process of aligning the observatory’s primary mirror using the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument. The team's challenge was twofold: confirm that NIRCam was ready to collect light from celestial objects, and then identify starlight from the same star in each of the 18 primary mirror segments. The result is an image mosaic of 18 randomly organized dots of starlight, the product of Webb's unaligned mirror segments all reflecting light from the same star back at Webb's secondary mirror and into NIRCam's detectors. What looks like a simple image of blurry starlight now becomes the foundation to align and focus the telescope in order for Webb to deliver unprecedented views of the universe this summer. Over the next month or so, the team will gradually adjust the mirror segments until the 18 images become a single star.
  • The Webb Telescope's Optics
    2022.01.31
    Social media video covering the Webb Telescope's optics system.
  • The Webb Telescope Sunshield
    2022.01.31
    The Webb Telescope's sunshield is key to enabling Webb's science. This feature explains how the sunshield works, and it's deployment.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope at L2
    2022.01.24
    After launch, the James Webb Space Telescope will travel to its orbital destination. Webb will perform its science mission while orbiting a location in space, called the second Lagrange point, or L2 for short. L2 is located one million miles from Earth. As Webb orbits L2, the telescope stays in line with Earth as it travels around the Sun. L2 is a point where the gravitational influences of the Earth and Sun balance the centripetal force of a small object orbiting with them. The telescope's optics and instruments need to be kept very cold to be able to observe the very faint infrared signals of very distant objects clearly. This location is perfect for Webb's sunshield to block out light and heat from the Sun, Earth, and Moon. Unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb's orbit keeps the spacecraft out of the Earth's shadow making L2 a thermally stable location for the observatory to operate at. Webb will operate within its field of regard. The "field of regard" refers to the angles the telescope can move while staying in the shadow of the Sun. Each of Webb's instruments has its own field of view. The field of view is the area of sky an instrument can observe. Webb's fine steering mirror is moved so that an object can be observed by the different instruments. This prevents the whole telescope from having to repoint itself to do so. The Webb Telescope’s commissioning process will be complete approximately six months after launch, at which time Webb start its science mission. Helping to uncover more of the mysteries of our Universe.
  • Webb Telescope Mission Trailer - Carl Sagan
    2022.02.23
    The Webb Telescope mission trailer featuring the voice of Carl Sagan. "We have uncovered wonders undreamt by our ancestors who first speculated on the nature of those wondering lights in the sky, we've crossed the solar system and sent ships to the stars. But we continue to search, we can't help it. Essencial element of human nature lies far beyond the Earth. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal." Carl Sagan Music Credit / Licence: "Starfall" Really Slow Motion LLC
  • Webb Telescope separation video
    2021.12.27
    Webb Telescope separation from Ariane 5 upper stage - December 25, 2021
  • Webb Telescope Sunshield Tensioning - Operational Coverage
    2022.01.04
    Webb Telescope Sunshield Tensioning - Operational Coverage
  • Webb Telescope Secondary Mirror Deployment - Operational Coverage
    2022.01.07
    Webb Telescope Secondary Mirror Deployment - Operational Coverage - Full Broadcast
  • Webb Telescope Launch Highlights
    2021.12.27
    Webb Launch Broadcast Highlights - December 25, 2021
  • Webb Launch Broadcast Clean Feed
    2021.12.27
    Clean feed of the Webb Telescope Launch Broadcast on December 25, 2021
  • The Webb Telescope Mega Time-Lapse
    2022.02.15
    A time-lapse sequence of the Webb Telescope's history.
  • The Webb Journey to Space EP6: Launch
    2021.12.31
    The final chapter of the Webb journey to space. After months of transporting and preparing, the time has finally come. The Webb Telescope first is moved into the Ariane 5 rocket faring at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket with Webb now inside of it, is then moved to the launch pad. On Christmas morning, the rocket is launched into space. Approximately 30 minutes after the rocket made it into space, Webb was seperate for the rocket and slowly started its journey to L2.
  • James Webb Space Telescope Encapsulation
    2022.01.31
    Encapsulation marks the final readiness for Webb's flight to space. Here the rocket fairing, or nose cone, of the Ariane 5 rocket was lifted 15 stories and carefully placed over the Webb Telescope.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope L-30 Briefings
    2021.12.07
    The L-30 briefings of the James Webb Space Telescope's science goals and science instrument.
  • Webb Journey to Space EP5: Spacecraft Fueling
    2021.12.06
    Fueling is Webb’s most dangerous operation, when on Earth. The team moves Webb to the fueling area. The Webb Telescope's next step is moving to the vehicle assembly building where it will be placed atop the Ariane 5 rocket. The Webb Telescope journey to space continues… Music Credit: Question Time by Paul Reeves - Universal Production Music
  • 29 Days on the Edge
    2021.10.18
    The greatest origin story of all unfolds with the James Webb Space Telescope. Webb's launch is a pivotal moment that exemplifies the dedication, innovation, and ambition behind NASA and its partners, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA), but it is only the beginning. The 29 days following liftoff will be an exciting but harrowing time. Thousands of parts must work correctly, in sequence, to unfold Webb and put it in its final configuration. All while Webb flies through the expanse of space, alone, to a destination nearly one million miles away from Earth. As the largest and most complex telescope ever sent into space, the James Webb Space Telescope is a technological marvel. By necessity, Webb takes on-orbit deployments to the extreme. Each step can be controlled expertly from the ground, giving Webb's Mission Operations Center full control to circumnavigate any unforseen issues with deployment.
  • Webb Journey to Space Part 4: Unpacking in the Cleanroom
    2021.10.29
    After making its journey to Kourou, French Guiana, the Webb Telescope inside the protective transport container has been brought to the Guiana Space Centre. Once inside the processing facility's cleanroom, engineers unpacked Webb from the protective transport container and installed it to the rollover fixture. The telescope now waits to begin launch preparations.
  • Webb Journey to Space Part 3 Arrival & Off loaded
    2021.10.21
    The MN Colibri with the Webb Telescope safely inside the cargo hold has arrived at Kourou in French Guiana, the location of the launch site for Webb. The journey from Los Angeles to Kourou took a total of 16 days. Once the MN Colibri made port, the team of engineers unload Webb still inside the protective transport container from the ship and moved it to Guiana Space Centre.
  • Webb Journey to Space 2: Loading & Departure
    2021.10.12
    The Webb Telescope's journey to space continues... After arriving at Seal Beach, California, Webb, inside of the protective transport container, was loaded into the MN Colibri. This process took several steps to accomplish. Once the telescope was loaded inside the cargo hold, the MN Colibri set sail for the port near the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
  • Webb Journey to Space 1: Packing & Transport
    2021.10.12
    This is the beginning of the James Webb Space Telescope's journey to space! It started with engineers packing the telescope into the protective transport container. The container was then moved from Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA to Seal Beach, CA. Waiting at Seal Beach was the ship, the MN Colibri, which would carry Webb to the port near the launch site in French Guiana.
  • NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has Completed Testing
    2021.08.26
    Engineering teams have completed the James Webb Space Telescope's long-spanning comprehensive testing regimen at Northrop Grumman's facilities. Webb's many tests and checkpoints were designed to ensure that the world's most complex space science observatory will operate as designed once in space. Now that observatory testing has concluded, shipment operations have begun. This includes all the necessary steps to prepare Webb for a safe journey through the Panama Canal to its launch location in Kourou, French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America. Music Credit: Interstellar Travels, Copyright, 2012, Soundcast Music [SESAC], Christian Telford, David Travis Edwards, Matthew St Laurent, Robert Anthony Navarro
  • Webb Mirror Beauty
    2021.05.11
    Beauty shots of the James Webb Space Telescope showing of the telescope's primary mirror.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope Completes its Final Environmental Tests
    2020.10.06
    The fully assembled James Webb Space Telescope has completed its environmental tests at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA. The environmental tests are a combination of acoustic and sine vibration tests. These tests simulate the conditions the telescope will encounter during launch. Completing these tests ensures that the telescope will survive launch. Prior to testing, engineers lifted the telescope onto the transport fixture and covered the telescope with a protective tent cover, sometimes referred to as the clamshell cover. The tent cover keep the telescope safe from contamination particles while it was being moved to the testing area. Next up for Webb, engineers will conduct the final sunshield deployment tests. Song: Amazing Discoveries,Copyright,2018,KTSA Publishing,Damien Deshayes
  • James Webb Space Telescope Stow Beauty Shots
    2020.08.19
    Beauty shots of the James Webb Space Telescope after engineers stowed the DTA and both the front and back sunshield UPS at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope Mission Overview
    2020.01.14
    The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest, most powerful and most technologically challenging space telescope ever built. The Webb Telescope is so large; it must be folded like origami to fit inside its rocket fairing for the ride into space. Once in space, unfolding and readying Webb for science is a complex process that will take about six months. Webb is designed to see the most distant galaxies in the Universe and study how galaxies evolved over cosmic time. Webb will study planets orbiting other stars looking for the chemical signatures of the building blocks of life. Webb will also study planets within our own solar system. The Webb Telescope Mission is an international space telescope program led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
  • Resumen de la Misión Webb (The James Webb Space Telescope Mission Overview-Spanish Translation)
    2020.01.14
    The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest, most powerful and most technologically challenging space telescope ever built. The Webb Telescope is so large; it must be folded like origami to fit inside its rocket fairing for the ride into space. Once in space, unfolding and readying Webb for science is a complex process that will take about six months. Webb is designed to see the most distant galaxies in the Universe and study how galaxies evolved over cosmic time. Webb will study planets orbiting other stars looking for the chemical signatures of the building blocks of life. Webb will also study planets within our own solar system. The Webb Telescope Mission is an international space telescope program led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
  • Webb Global Contributor Map
    2020.08.06
    The James Webb Space Telescope Mission is born of the efforts of thousands of people from 28 U.S. states and 17 countries. In the United States, 142 agencies, companies and universities participate in the mission. 63 European and 12 Canadian companies and agencies also contribute to the mission. The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest, science mission endeavor the USA, Europe and Canada have ever undertaken.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope is now an Assembled Observatory
    2019.10.09
    Engineers from NASA and Northrop Grumman have successfully integrated the James Webb Space Telescope's optical telescope element and spacecraft element together at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA. Thus completing the construction of the most complex and powerful telescope ever built. Webb will explore the cosmos using infrared light from planets and moons within our solar system to the earliest and most distant galaxies. Next up for Webb; Deploying the five-layer sunshield designed to keep Webb's mirror and scientific instruments super cold.
  • Folding the Webb Telescope to Fit Inside Ariane 5 Rockete Fairing
    2020.02.11
    Animation showing the Webb Space Telescope folding to fit inside the Ariane 5 rocket fairing.
  • James Webb Space Telescope Orbit
    2020.02.11
    The James Webb Space Telescope will not be in orbit around the Earth, like the Hubble Space Telescope is - it will actually orbit the Sun, 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) away from the Earth at what is called the second Lagrange point or L2. What is special about this orbit is that it lets the telescope stay in line with the Earth as it moves around the Sun. This allows the satellite's large sunshield to protect the telescope from the light and heat of the Sun and Earth (and Moon).
  • First Half of the James Webb Space Telescope's Forward UPS Stow Time-Lapse 6.16.21
    2021.08.20
    Time-lapse footage of the first half of the James Webb Space Telescope's forward upper panel structure (UPS) final stow at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA.

Webb Launch and Deployment Programs and Highlights

Spacecraft Animation

Science Animation

  • Re-Ionization Era Simulation
    2010.11.01
    The visualization shows galaxies, composed of gas, stars and dark matter, colliding and forming filaments in the large-scale universe providing a view of the Cosmic Web. The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Drs. Renyue Cen and Jeremiah Ostriker to visualize a simulation of the nonlinear cosmological evolution of the universe.

    Drs. Cen and Ostriker developed one of the largest cosmological hydrodynamic simulations and computed over 749 gigabytes of raw data at the NCSA in 2005. AVL used Amore software (http://avl.ncsa.illinois.edu/what-we-do/software) to interpolate and render approximately 322 gigabytes of a subset of the computed data. The simulation begins about 20 million years after the Big Bang - about 13.7 billion years ago - and extends until the present day.

    AVL(http://avl.ncsa.illinois.edu/) at NCSA (http://ncsa.illinois.edu/), University of Illinois (www.illinois.edu)

  • Galaxy Formation Simulation
    2010.11.01
    Supercomputer Simulations of Galaxy Formation and Evolution.

    This visualization shows small galaxies forming, interacting, and merging to make ever-larger galaxies. This 'hierarchical structure formation' is driven by gravity and results in the creation of galaxies with spiral arms much like our own Milky Way galaxy. The Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) simulation generated from ENZO code for cosmology and astrophysics was developed by Drs. Brian O'Shea and Michael Norman. The AMR code generated 1.8 terabytes of data and was computed at NCSA. AVL used Amore software (http://avl.ncsa.illinois.edu/what-we-do/software) to interpolate and render 2700 frames (42 gigabytes of HD images). The simulation spans a time period of 13.7 billion years. This visualization provides insight into the assembly and formation of galaxies. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will probe the earliest periods of galaxy formation by looking deep into space to see the first galaxies that form in the universe, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

    The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Drs. Brian O'Shea and Michael Norman to visualize the formation of a Milky Way-type galaxy.

    The Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) simulation generated from ENZO code for cosmology and astrophysics was developed by Drs. Brian O'Shea and Michael Norman. The AMR code generated 1.8 terabytes of data and was computed at NCSA. AVL used Amore software (http://avl.ncsa.illinois.edu/what-we-do/software) to interpolate and render 2700 frames (42 gigabytes of HD images). The simulation spans a time period of 13.7 billion years. This visualization provides insight into the assembly and formation of galaxies. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will probe the earliest periods of galaxy formation by looking deep into space to see the first galaxies that form in the universe, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

    AVL(http://avl.ncsa.illinois.edu/) at NCSA (http://ncsa.illinois.edu/), University of Illinois (www.illinois.edu)

  • Galaxy Collision Simulation
    2010.10.29
    The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Drs. Brant Robertson and Lars Hernquist to visualize two colliding galaxies that interact and merge into a single elliptical galaxy over a period spanning two billion years of evolution. The scientific theoretical model and the computational data output were developed by Drs. Brant Robertson and Lars Hernquist. AVL rendered more than 80 gigabytes of this data using in-house rendering software and Virtual Director for camera choreography. This computation provides important research to understand galaxy mergers, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will provide data to test such theories. When two large disk-shaped galaxies merge — as will happen within the next few billion years with the Milky Way galaxy and its largest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy — the result will likely settle into a cloud-shaped elliptical galaxy. Most elliptical galaxies observed today formed from collisions that occurred billions of years ago. It is difficult to observe such collisions now with ground-based telescopes since these collisions are billions of light-years away. JWST will probe in unprecedented detail those distant epochs, and provide exquisite images of mergers caught in the act of destroying disk galaxies.

    AVL at NCSA University of Illinois

  • Planetary Systems and
    Origins of Life Simulation
    2021.04.14
    Supercomputer simulations of planeratry evolution.

    Part 1: Turbulent Molecular Cloud Nebula with Protostellar Objects

    The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Drs. Alexei Kritsuk and Michael Norman to visualize a computational data set of a turbulent molecular cloud nebula forming protostellar objects and accretion disks approximately 100 AU in diameter, on the order of the size of our solar system. AVL used its Amore software to interpolate and render the Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) simulation generated from ENZO code for cosmology and astrophysics. The AMR simulation was developed by Drs. Kritsuk and Norman at the Laboratory for Computational Astrophysics.

    The AMR simulation generated more than 2 terabytes of data and follows star formation processes in a self-gravitating turbulent molecular cloud with a dynamic range of half-a-million in linear scale, resolving both the large-scale filamentary structure of the molecular cloud (~5 parsec) and accretion disks around emerging young protostellar objects (down to 2 AU).

    Part 2: Protoplanetary Disk and Planet Formation

    The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Dr. Aaron Boley to visualize the 16,000 year evolution of a young, isolated protoplanetary disk which surrounds a newly-formed protostar. The disk forms spiral arms and a dense clump as a result of gravitational collapse. Dr. Aaron Boley developed this computational model to investigate the response of young disks to mass accretion from their surrounding envelopes, including the direct formation of planets and brown dwarfs through gravitational instability.

    The main formation mechanism for gas giant planets has been debated within the scientific community for over a decade. One of these theories is 'direct formation through gravitational instability.' If the self-gravity of the gas overwhelms the disk's thermal pressure and the stabilizing effect of differential rotation, the gas closest to the protostar rotates faster than gas farther away. In this scenario, regions of the gaseous disk collapse and form a planet directly. The study, presented in Boley (2009), explores whether mass accretion in the outer regions of disks can lead to such disk fragmentation. The simulations show that clumps can form in situ at large disk radii. If the clumps survive, they can become gas giants on wide orbits, e.g., Fomalhaut b, or even more massive objects called brown dwarfs. Whether a disk forms planets at large radii and, if so, the number of planets that form, depend on how much of the envelope mass is distributed at large distances from the protostar.

    The results of the simulations suggest that there are two modes of gas giant planet formation. The first mode occurs early in the disk's lifetime, at large radii, and through the disk instability mechanism. After the main accretion phase is over, gas giants can form in the inner disk, over a period of a million years, through the core accretion mechanism, which researchers are addressing in other studies.

    Thanks to R. H. Durisen, L. Mayer, and G. Lake for comments and discussions relating to this research. This study was supported in part by the University of Zurich, Institute for Theoretical Physics, and by a Swiss Federal Grant. Resources supporting this work were provided by the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) Program through the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames Research Center.

    AVL at NCSA, University of Illinois.

  • Webb Science Simulations: Planetary Systems and Origins of Life
    2021.04.14
    Supercomputer simulations of planeratry evolution.

    Part 1: Turbulent Molecular Cloud Nebula with Protostellar Objects

    The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Drs. Alexei Kritsuk and Michael Norman to visualize a computational data set of a turbulent molecular cloud nebula forming protostellar objects and accretion disks approximately 100 AU in diameter, on the order of the size of our solar system. AVL used its Amore software to interpolate and render the Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) simulation generated from ENZO code for cosmology and astrophysics. The AMR simulation was developed by Drs. Kritsuk and Norman at the Laboratory for Computational Astrophysics.

    The AMR simulation generated more than 2 terabytes of data and follows star formation processes in a self-gravitating turbulent molecular cloud with a dynamic range of half-a-million in linear scale, resolving both the large-scale filamentary structure of the molecular cloud (~5 parsec) and accretion disks around emerging young protostellar objects (down to 2 AU).

    Part 2: Protoplanetary Disk and Planet Formation

    The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Dr. Aaron Boley to visualize the 16,000 year evolution of a young, isolated protoplanetary disk which surrounds a newly-formed protostar. The disk forms spiral arms and a dense clump as a result of gravitational collapse. Dr. Aaron Boley developed this computational model to investigate the response of young disks to mass accretion from their surrounding envelopes, including the direct formation of planets and brown dwarfs through gravitational instability.

    The main formation mechanism for gas giant planets has been debated within the scientific community for over a decade. One of these theories is 'direct formation through gravitational instability.' If the self-gravity of the gas overwhelms the disk's thermal pressure and the stabilizing effect of differential rotation, the gas closest to the protostar rotates faster than gas farther away. In this scenario, regions of the gaseous disk collapse and form a planet directly. The study, presented in Boley (2009), explores whether mass accretion in the outer regions of disks can lead to such disk fragmentation. The simulations show that clumps can form in situ at large disk radii. If the clumps survive, they can become gas giants on wide orbits, e.g., Fomalhaut b, or even more massive objects called brown dwarfs. Whether a disk forms planets at large radii and, if so, the number of planets that form, depend on how much of the envelope mass is distributed at large distances from the protostar.

    The results of the simulations suggest that there are two modes of gas giant planet formation. The first mode occurs early in the disk's lifetime, at large radii, and through the disk instability mechanism. After the main accretion phase is over, gas giants can form in the inner disk, over a period of a million years, through the core accretion mechanism, which researchers are addressing in other studies.

    Thanks to R. H. Durisen, L. Mayer, and G. Lake for comments and discussions relating to this research. This study was supported in part by the University of Zurich, Institute for Theoretical Physics, and by a Swiss Federal Grant. Resources supporting this work were provided by the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) Program through the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames Research Center.

    AVL at NCSA, University of Illinois.

Instrument & Component Animation

  • Webb Science Instrument Animations
    2020.02.05
    Animations of James Webb Space Telescope Instruments
  • NIRCam Instrument Animation
    2020.04.27
    The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is Webb's primary imager that will cover the infrared wavelength range 0.6 to 5 microns. NIRCam will detect light from: the earliest stars and galaxies in the process of formation, the population of stars in nearby galaxies, as well as young stars in the Milky Way and Kuiper Belt objects. NIRCam is equipped with coronagraphs, instruments that allow astronomers to take pictures of very faint objects around a central bright object, like stellar systems. NIRCam's coronagraphs work by blocking a brighter object's light, making it possible to view the dimmer object nearby - just like shielding the sun from your eyes with an upraised hand can allow you to focus on the view in front of you. With the coronagraphs, astronomers hope to determine the characteristics of planets orbiting nearby stars.
  • Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) Light Path Animation
    2022.02.28
    The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has both a camera and a spectrograph that sees light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths that are longer than our eyes see. MIRI covers the wavelength range of 5 to 28 microns. Its sensitive detectors will allow it to see the redshifted light of distant galaxies, newly forming stars, and faintly visible comets as well as objects in the Kuiper Belt. MIRI's camera will provide wide-field, broadband imaging that will continue the breathtaking astrophotography that has made Hubble so universally admired. The spectrograph will enable medium-resolution spectroscopy, providing new physical details of the distant objects it will observe.
  • MIRI Instrument Turntable Animation
    2021.02.24
    A turntable animation of Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). The Mid-infrared Instrument has both a camera and a spectrograph that sees light in the mid-infrared region of the region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths that are longer than our eye sees. MIRI was built by the MIRI Consortium, a group that consists of scientists and engineers from European countries, a team from the Jet Propulsion Lab in California, and scientists from several U.S. institutions. The nominal operating temperature for MIRI is 7K. This level of cooling cannot be attained using the passive cooling provided by Thermal Management Subsystem. Webb carries an innovative "cryocooler" that is dedicated to cooling MIRI's detectors. Instead, there is a two-step process: A Pulse Tube precooler gets the instrument down to 18K; and a Joule-Thomson Loop heat exchanger knocks it down to 7K.
  • Webb's Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) Instrument Light Path Animation
    2022.02.28
    The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will operate over a wavelength range of 0.6 to 5 microns. A spectrograph (also sometimes called a spectrometer) is used to disperse light from an object into a spectrum. Analyzing the spectrum of an object can tell us about its physical properties, including temperature, mass, and chemical composition. The atoms and molecules in the object actually imprint lines on its spectrum that uniquely fingerprint each chemical element present and can reveal a wealth of information about physical conditions in the object. Spectroscopy and spectrometry (the sciences of interpreting these lines) are among the sharpest tools in the shed for exploring the cosmos. Many of the objects that the Webb will study, such as the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang, are so faint, that the Webb's giant mirror must stare at them for hundreds of hours in order to collect enough light to form a spectrum. In order to study thousands of galaxies during its 5 year mission, the NIRSpec is designed to observe 100 objects simultaneously. The NIRSpec will be the first spectrograph in space that has this remarkable multi-object capability. To make it possible, Goddard scientists and engineers had to invent a new technology microshutter system to control how light enters the NIRSpec.
  • NIRSpec Instrument Animation
    2020.04.27
    The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will operate over a wavelength range of 0.6 to 5 microns. A spectrograph (also sometimes called a spectrometer) is used to disperse light from an object into a spectrum. Analyzing the spectrum of an object can tell us about its physical properties, including temperature, mass, and chemical composition. The atoms and molecules in the object actually imprint lines on its spectrum that uniquely fingerprint each chemical element present and can reveal a wealth of information about physical conditions in the object. Spectroscopy and spectrometry (the sciences of interpreting these lines) are among the sharpest tools in the shed for exploring the cosmos. Many of the objects that the Webb will study, such as the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang, are so faint, that the Webb's giant mirror must stare at them for hundreds of hours in order to collect enough light to form a spectrum. In order to study thousands of galaxies during its 5 year mission, the NIRSpec is designed to observe 100 objects simultaneously. The NIRSpec will be the first spectrograph in space that has this remarkable multi-object capability. To make it possible, Goddard scientists and engineers had to invent a new technology microshutter system to control how light enters the NIRSpec.
  • FGS/NIRISS Turntable Animation
    2020.04.27
    The Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) allows Webb to point precisely, so that it can obtain high-quality images. The Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph part of the FGS/NIRISS will be used to investigate the following science objectives: first light detection, exoplanet detection and characterization, and exoplanet transit spectroscopy.
  • Webb Spacecraft 2-Segment Animation with Instrument view
    2020.02.05
    Animation shows the two main sections of the Webb Telescope: the Optical Telescope Integrated Science (OTIS) segment and the Spacecraft Element (SCE) segment. The animation also reveals the location of Webb's four instruments.
  • Webb Spacecraft 3 Segment Animation with Instrument view (with alpha)
    2016.11.11
    The Webb Telescope is made of 3 main segments: the Telescope Element, the Sunshield, and the Spacecraft Bus. This animation shows these segments and ofers a glimpse inside the Telescope Element to see Webb's instruments.
  • Webb Instrument Animations
    2012.05.22
    The James Webb Space Telelscope carries 4 science instruments: the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), and the Fine Guidance Sensor / Near InfraRed Imager adn Slitless Spetrograph (FGS/NIRISS). All four instruments are housed in the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM).

Descriptive Concept Animations

Webb Journey To Space Series

  • Webb Journey to Space 1: Packing & Transport
    2021.10.12
    This is the beginning of the James Webb Space Telescope's journey to space! It started with engineers packing the telescope into the protective transport container. The container was then moved from Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA to Seal Beach, CA. Waiting at Seal Beach was the ship, the MN Colibri, which would carry Webb to the port near the launch site in French Guiana.
  • Webb Journey to Space 2: Loading & Departure
    2021.10.12
    The Webb Telescope's journey to space continues... After arriving at Seal Beach, California, Webb, inside of the protective transport container, was loaded into the MN Colibri. This process took several steps to accomplish. Once the telescope was loaded inside the cargo hold, the MN Colibri set sail for the port near the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
  • Webb Journey to Space Part 3 Arrival & Off loaded
    2021.10.21
    The MN Colibri with the Webb Telescope safely inside the cargo hold has arrived at Kourou in French Guiana, the location of the launch site for Webb. The journey from Los Angeles to Kourou took a total of 16 days. Once the MN Colibri made port, the team of engineers unload Webb still inside the protective transport container from the ship and moved it to Guiana Space Centre.
  • Webb Journey to Space Part 4: Unpacking in the Cleanroom
    2021.10.29
    After making its journey to Kourou, French Guiana, the Webb Telescope inside the protective transport container has been brought to the Guiana Space Centre. Once inside the processing facility's cleanroom, engineers unpacked Webb from the protective transport container and installed it to the rollover fixture. The telescope now waits to begin launch preparations.
  • Webb Journey to Space EP5: Spacecraft Fueling
    2021.12.06
    Fueling is Webb’s most dangerous operation, when on Earth. The team moves Webb to the fueling area. The Webb Telescope's next step is moving to the vehicle assembly building where it will be placed atop the Ariane 5 rocket. The Webb Telescope journey to space continues… Music Credit: Question Time by Paul Reeves - Universal Production Music
  • Webb Journey to Space EP6: Launch
    2021.12.31
    The final chapter of the Webb journey to space. After months of transporting and preparing, the time has finally come. The Webb Telescope first is moved into the Ariane 5 rocket faring at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket with Webb now inside of it, is then moved to the launch pad. On Christmas morning, the rocket is launched into space. Approximately 30 minutes after the rocket made it into space, Webb was seperate for the rocket and slowly started its journey to L2.

Elements of Webb Series

Elements of Webb explores why engineers chose to use different materials on the James Webb Space Telescope. While Webb towers three stories tall, and has a tennis court sized sunshield and is twice the size of the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb is half Hubble’s weight. Why? Engineers precisely chose the right materials. #UnfoldTheUniverse
  • Elements of Webb: Series Introduction Ep0
    2021.11.09
    The James Webb Space Telescope is impressive. It's three stories tall, as wide as a tennis court. It's got a 21-foot primary mirror and then it's got these 4 instruments that are just incredibly powerful. It's the largest, most technologically challenging space telescope ever created. It's one hundred times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope but at half the weight. It's designed to look back in time even further than Hubble to see the very first galaxies to form after the Big Bang. Building Webb is truly a feat of innovative engineering each material must survive the turmoil of a launch and the varying temperatures of space - and it all starts with the elements. music music music music This is the James Webb Space Telescope!
  • Elements of Webb: Gold Part 1 Ep01
    2021.11.10
    Why Does Webb Have Gold Mirrors? There is a lot of hustle and bustle because the integration is in full process. Just look at NASA’s James Webb space telescope. Its gold mirrors are definitely its most stunning feature. And yeah, that’s real gold. Humans have long history of searching for gold and using it in their most prized possessions. These mirrors weren’t gilded to make them pretty. There isnt’ even all that much gold – about 5 men’s wedding rings-worth over the 18 mirrors. So I wanted to see for myself, why does it make sense to use a microscopic layer of gold on these mirrors? So our everyday mirrors tend to use silver or aluminum as their reflective material. One of the major differences between our earthly mirrors and these fancy optical mirrors is the position of the reflective material. Look at the side of this this small mirror. It has the glass on the front, and the metal coating behind it. That glass actually traps a tiny amount of light and creates what we call a ghosting effect. So the clearest reflection we can get actually have that metal coating on the front. Dentists and hygienists also front-surface mirrors to get an accurate look at your teeth. The position of the reflective coating might make a sharp observation, but the kind of metal also matters too. So there are a couple of reflective materials that really excel at reflecting infrared light, which is how Webb will observe. Aluminum reflects 85% of that wavelength of light, silver up to 95% and gold up to 99% of all the infrared light that it encounters. But gold is special, and I can show you using the rings that I typically wear. This one is gold. And this one is made out of silver. And in the presence of the right chemicals, these two chemicals react differently. I think, actually, it’s a little easier to show you, all of this with this spoon. My mom surprised me by pulling out this whole tub of silver! Not tub, it came out of a box so I’m able to demonstrate, sort of on a bigger surface, how silver can react differently using an egg. Smoosh that in. We’ve got nothing. We’ve got nothing. So what we have is a really fast reaction between the sulfur in the egg and the silver, and it creates a new thin layer on the spoon of silver sulfide. Silver might be great at reflecting infrared light, but it tarnishes so easily. Not only does gold reflect more infrared light, but it is also one of the most unreactive metals. It is too durable to oxidize and decay in space. And it is certainly Webb’s best chance at seeing the cosmos!
  • Elements of Webb: Gold Part 2 Ep02
    2021.11.17
    EP 02: Where Does Gold Come From? I am on a quest for gold. Since NASA’s James Webb Space telescope has a microscopic layer on the mirrors, I want to know, where does gold really come from? Now, California is known for gold. It flows through the rivers, and is embedded in the mountains, but is this really where gold originates? I know, I’m giving a terrible example of what panning looks like. At this point I had already driven all the way to the San Gabriel Mountains, only to find that it is now illegal to pan for gold because it is a national monument. It would just be our luck, that we ran into Bill Schuster, who’s family has own property for a really long time in the mountains. And he really showed me to how to properly pan for gold. The first thing you’ve got to know, is that you’re going to get wet. So don’t worry about getting wet. Gold is so heavy, the ripples will catch it. Most people are so scared that they’re going to lose gold. Believe me, it will not go out. I already see two pieces. Two big pieces. There you go. So gold is incredibly rare. We can take all the gold that we’ve ever mined, or paned, and stick it into three Olympic sized pools. And the reason gold is so rare, is that it isn’t even from Earth, it’s extraterrestrial. As it turns out, finding gold cosmic origins is a topic of hot debate. So I needed an expert to help me understand and luckily, Mansi was in the area. Do you like to wear gold? Yeah, in fact I got this gold ring in India myself. Gold is one of the heaviest elements in the periodic table. In fact, if you peaked into its nucleus, it would be filled with 197 neutrons and protons. And until a few years ago, we had no idea how gold was made in the Universe. Scientists debated what energetic event could make heavy elements. Is the power of a supernova enough? Or does it need more? That turns out to be very difficult to synthesize in any ordinary cosmic explosion. You need a very special explosion that can actually synthesize heavy elements like gold by R-Process. Now the R-Process is one of the ways to make heavy elements like gold. It is another way to say Rapid Neutron Capture Process and it happens in a matter of a couple of seconds. On August 17th, 2017, when the 2 neutron stars merged, that’s when we saw the hallmark infrared signature for the very first time. Now this neutron star merger was and still is a big deal. It’s the only time scientists have witnessed and measured the R-process in action. And up until then, it was all theoretical. Let’s begin with 2 neutron stars spiraling towards each other and then merging to give birth to a black hole. This is where we think we saw for the very first time the gold being synthesized. You have an abundant supply of free neutrons. So when these neutrons are flying out they are able to bind to each other, join together and under go rapid capture. And this rapid capture gives you a slew of heavy elements all the way up to gold. Like all heavy elements on Earth, gold has been here since Earth was formed. It was floating around the gas and dust that formed our sun and all the planets that formed in our solar system. But gold is heavy, much of what we find comes up through many veins running through the crust. That’s why we often find gold alongside volcanoes. But what is even more poetic, is that we are using an element, forged in the death of stars, to investigate the dawn of our Universe.
  • Elements of Webb: Beryllium Part 1 Ep03
    2021.11.24
    When you look at NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope you can’t help but see the huge gold mirrors. but that gold is really only on the surface the rest of the mirrors are made out of a metal called beryllium.
  • Elements of Webb: Beryllium Part 2 Ep04
    2021.12.01
    So Utah is home to many valuable materials – copper, magnesium, uranium, gold and silver. But most of the world’s beryllium is mined here. And engineers chose beryllium for Webb’s mirrors because it is lightweight, it is strong and it is dimensionally stable. We are actually standing on the beryllium ore seam. Beryllium is in the volcanic ash dust. It was hydrothermally deposited millions of years ago and then coved by volcanic rock. We have to remove the volcanic rock on top of the ore seam and then use a scraper and a bulldozer to extract the ore that we’re standing on top of. 90% of the beryllium that was mined in the world came from this deposit.
  • Elements of Webb: Beryllium Part 3 Ep05
    2021.12.08
    Elements of Webb EP 05: Beryllium Part 3. Where Does Beryllium Really Come From?
  • Elements of Webb: Kapton Ep06
    2021.12.15
    The Webb Telescope has a tennis court size sunshield made out of a thin material called Kapton. It shields the exposed mirrors and science instruments from the light and heat of the Sun, Earth and moon. How well can a material 1/1,000th of an inch think work? Find out on this Episode of Elements of Webb. #UnfoldTheUniverse
  • Elements of Webb: Carbon Ep07
    2021.12.22
    Carbon composites are everywhere, including Webb. Let’s see how engineers incorporated the new material to make the Webb Telescope strong and light weight. #UnfoldTheUniverse
  • Elements of Webb: Silicon Ep08
    2021.12.29
    Silicon is the go-to chip and sensor material for a reason, it works. Why take chances? Learn about the semi-conductor properties that make this element the right choice for the Webb Telescope. #UnfoldTheUniverse
  • Elements of Webb: Helium Ep 09
    2022.01.05
    Elements of Webb EP09: Helium
  • Elements of Webb: Salt Ep10
    2022.01.12
    The Webb Telescope is full of precise optical component, some of which include lenses made out of salt. Why? Find out why the infrared telescope requires this unexpected lens on this episode of Elements of Webb. #UnfoldTheUniverse
  • Elements of Webb: Super Black Ep11
    2022.01.19
    Black objects absorb heat. But Webb’s radiator, designed to keep the science instruments cold, is black. Why? Find out on this episode of Elements of Webb. #UnfoldTheUniverse
  • Elements of Webb: Elements Seeking Elements Ep12
    2022.01.26
    Elements of Webb series finale. Webb uses a variety of unique and run of the mill elements in its build. It is also designed to detect the elemental makeup of distant objects. Learn how Webb uses spectroscopy to investigate new worlds. #UnfoldTheUniverse

Webb at the Launch Site

Shipping Webb: Los Angeles to the Launch Site

Transporting and Moving Webb

A collection of all the produced videos, b-roll and time-lapse assets related to transporting Webb and it's components.

Assembled Observatory

Optics B-Roll

Instrument B-roll

  • ISIM Installation 4K B-Roll
    2017.02.16
    4K B-roll footage engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center installing the Integrated Science Instrument Module into the back portion of the James Webb Space Telescope's Optical Telescope Element.
  • Webb Telescope's Science Instruments Installed B-Roll
    2016.06.07
    Raw video of two dozen engineers and technicians successfully installed the package of science instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope into the telescope structure. The package, known as the Integrated Science Instrument Module or ISIM, is the collection of cameras, spectrographs and fine guidance systems that help record the light collected by Webb’s giant golden mirror. Inside the world’s largest clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the team crane-lifted the heavy science instrument package, lowered it into an enclosure on the back of the telescope, and secured it to the telescope.
  • JWST Aft-Optics System (AOS) Installed at GSFC
    2016.04.14
    Engineers installed the Aft-Optics System (AOS) into NASA's James Webb Space Telescope at Godddard Space Flight Center on March 5, 2016. The AOS is a precision beryllium rectangular optical bench that houses the tertiary and the fine steering mirror installed at the center of Webb's primary mirror. The AOS is surrounded by a shroud that eliminates stray light, and two large radiator panels that keep the assembly cold. This subsystem collects and focuses the light from the secondary mirror and feeds it into the science instruments.
  • The NIRSpec Instrument is Prepped for Micro-Shutter Array and Focal Plane Assembly Replacement
    2015.07.20
    Engineers from Airbus and the European Space Agency (ESA) work inside NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s large clean room to remove the cover on Webb Telescope’s Near InfraRed Spectrometer (NIRSpec) instrument in preparation for the replacement of the Micro Shutter Array (MSA) and the Focal Plane Assembly (FPA)
  • Pathfinder: Secondary Mirror Support Structure Stowed for Shipping to the Johnson Space Center
    2015.07.20
    Engineers work in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s cleanroom to stow the Webb Telescope’s Backplane Pathfinder and its Secondary Mirror Support Structure in preprartion for placing it into a large shipping container and transported to the NASA Johnson Space Center for cryogenic testing.
  • Webb's FGS/NIRISS Instument is Removed from the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM)
    2015.03.17
    Webb Telescope's Fine Guidance Sensor / Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS) is removed from the Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM)
  • Backplane Cryo Testing at MSFC
    2015.02.18
    The primary mirror backplane support structure of the James Webb Space Telescope completed a rigorous testing regime inside the X-Ray and Cryogenic Test Facility at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The structure is essentially the spine of the massive telescope and is the final component to undergo testing at the facility.
  • NIRCam Removal From ISIM Structure
    2015.02.18
    James Webb Space Telescope's NIRCam gets removed from the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is Webb's primary imager that will cover the infrared wavelength range 0.6 to 5 microns.
  • NIRSpec
    Microshutters Assembly Unit
    Gets Replaced
    2015.02.13
    The installation of equipment into the James Webb Space Telescope requires patience and precision. To prepare for the installation of the actual flight equipment and ensure perfection in the installations, scientists need to practice with an identical test unit. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. are currently rehearsing with the placement of the Webb's Microshutter Array into the NIRSpec. The microshutters are a new technology that was developed for the Webb telescope mission. The microshutter device is a key component Webb's Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec). NIRSpec is a powerful instrument that will record the spectra of light from distant objects. The microshutter device only lets light in from selected objects to shine through NIRSpec.
  • Backplane Arrives at
    MSFC for Testing
    2015.02.11
    A major piece of the James Webb Space Telescope, the mirror's primary backplane support, arrived Aug. 22 2014 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for testing in the X-ray and Cryogenic Test Facility. The backplane is the backbone of the telescope, supporting its 18 beryllium mirrors, instruments and other elements while the telescope is looking into deep space.
  • NIRSpec Instrument Cover
    Removed B-roll
    2015.02.10
    The Webb Telescope's Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec) has it's protective cover removed in preparation for surgery. Airbus engineers prep the European Space Agency instrument for an upgrade of its Micro Shutter Array (MSA) and its Focal Plane Assembly (FPA). The NIRSpec instrument is Webb Telescope’s primary spectrograph. This instrument will reveal the physical and chemical properties of objects Webb images. NIRSpec's Micro Shutter Array is a new technology developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for the Webb Telescope mission. The MSA consists of more than 62,000 microscopic doors. These doors can be manipulated to allow light from select sources to reach the detector. This system enables astrophysicists to collect information from 100 objects simultaneously, greatly increasing Webb’s science gathering power. NIRSpec will be the first spectrograph in space that has this capability.
  • NIRSPec Microshutters Moved
    for Testing B-roll
    2014.06.23
    A new Microshutter Array for the Webb Telescope's Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec) is packed and transported by hand one building away at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to undergo thermal cycling testing and checkouts at it operational temperature of 35 kelvin or -397 Fahrenheit.
  • NIRCam Integration B-roll
    2014.04.15
    B-roll of engineers installing the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) into the Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center cleanroom. This delicate procedure took place on March 20, 2014 in preparation for the cryogenic test of a fully integrated ISIM structure that will occur this summer. The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is Webb's primary imager that will cover the infrared wavelength range 0.6 to 5 microns. NIRCam will detect light from: the earliest stars and galaxies in the process of formation; the population of stars in nearby galaxies; as well as young stars in the Milky Way and Kuiper Belt objects. NIRCam is equipped with coronagraphs, instruments that allow astronomers to take pictures of very faint objects around a central bright object, like stellar systems. NIRCam's coronagraphs work by blocking a brighter object's light, making it possible to view the dimmer object nearby - just like shielding the sun from your eyes with an upraised hand can allow you to focus on the view in front of you. With the coronagraphs, astronomers hope to determine the characteristics of planets orbiting nearby stars.
  • NIRSpec Integration B-Roll
    2014.04.08
    Engineers install the Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec) onto the Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center cleanroom. This delicate procedure took place during March 24 and March 25, 2014 in preparation for the cryogenic test of a fully integrated ISIM structure to occur this summer. The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is a near infrared multi-object dispersive spectrograph capable of simultaneously observing more than 100 sources over a field-of-view (FOV) larger than 3' x 3'. The NIRSpec will be the first spectrograph in space that has this capability. Targets in the Field of View are normally selected by opening groups of shutters in a micro-shutter array (MSA) to form multiple apertures. The microshutters are arranged in a waffle-like grid that contains more than 62000 shutters with each cell measuring 100 µm x 200 µm. Sweeping a magnet across the surface of the MSA opens all operable shutters. Individual shutters may then be addressed and closed electronically. NIRSpec is also capable of Fixed-slit and Integral-field spectroscopy and provides medium-resolution spectroscopy over a wavelength range of 1 - 5 µm and lower-resolution spectroscopy from 0.6 - 5 µm. NIRSpec will address all of the four main JWST science themes, and much more. It will enable large spectroscopic surveys of faint galaxies at high redshift, obtain sensitive spectra of transiting exoplanets and image line emission from protoplanetary disks and protostars. NIRSpec is being built for the European Space Agency (ESA) by the Airbus Group with Dr. Pierre Ferruit guiding its development as the ESA JWST Project Scientist. Peter Jakobsen, the NIRSpec Instrument PI, retired in December 2011.
  • MIRI Instrument Install
    Time Lapse
    2014.02.18
    Time lapse sequence of engineers as they work to meticulously to implant the James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument into the ISIM, or Integrated Science Instrument Module, in the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. As the successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb telescope will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. It will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars.
  • NIRSpec Instument
    Arrives at NASA
    2013.11.07
    The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is a near infrared multi-object dispersive spectrograph capable of simultaneously observing more than 100 sources over a field-of-view (FOV) larger than 3' x 3'. The NIRSpec will be the first spectrograph in space that has this capability.

    NIRSpec is being built for the European Space Agency (ESA) by the Astrium consortium.

  • NIRCam Arrives
    at NASA GSFC
    2013.11.06
    The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is Webb's primary imager that will cover the infrared wavelength range 0.6 to 5 microns. NIRCam will detect light from: the earliest stars and galaxies in the process of formation; the population of stars in nearby galaxies; as well as young stars in the Milky Way and Kuiper Belt objects. NIRCam is equipped with coronagraphs, instruments that allow astronomers to take pictures of very faint objects around a central bright object, like stellar systems. NIRCam's coronagraphs work by blocking a brighter object's light, making it possible to view the dimmer object nearby - just like shielding the sun from your eyes with an upraised hand can allow you to focus on the view in front of you. With the coronagraphs, astronomers hope to determine the characteristics of planets orbiting nearby stars.

    NIRCam was built by the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin.

  • MIRI Instrument Arrival
    NASA GSFC
    2013.11.05
    Webb Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has both a camera and a spectrograph that sees light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths that are longer than our eyes see. The MIRI instrument arrived at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center May 30, 2013.
  • MIRI Instument
    ESA B-roll
    2013.11.05
    The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has both a camera and a spectrograph that sees light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths that are longer than our eyes see. This b-roll of MIRI was captured in Europe.
  • FGS/NIRISS Installation
    into the ISIM Structure
    2013.03.11
    Time Lapse of FGS/NIRISS Installation into the ISIM Structure on February 28, 2013 in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center clean room.

    NASA and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) engineers install the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) / Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) instrument package onto the Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM). The FGS/NIRISS was built by the Canadian Space Agency and delivered to NASA Goddard in July of 2012.

    The Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) allows Webb to point precisely, so that it can obtain high-quality images. The Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph part of the FGS/NIRISS will be used to investigate the following science objectives: first light detection, exoplanet detection and characterization, and exoplanet transit spectroscopy. It has a wavelength range of 0.8 to 5.0 microns, and is a specialized instrument with three main modes, each of which addresses a separate wavelength range.

Structure & Component B-roll

  • James Webb Space Telescope's Spacecraft Element is Moved Back into the Cleanroom B-Roll
    2019.07.01
    Engineers move the James Webb Space Telescope's Spacecraft Element from the thermal testing facility back into the cleanroom facility at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA.
  • STSCI Operation Control Room B-Roll
    2019.05.31
    B-Roll footage of engineers working in the Phil Sabelhaus Flight Control Room at the Space Telescope Science Institute located within John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope's Spacecraft Element Moved for Acoustic Testing B-Roll
    2018.11.28
    B-Roll footage of engineers at Northrop Grumman in Los Angeles California, moving the James Webb Space Telescope's Spacecraft Element into the acoustic testing facility for testing.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope's Spacecraft Element Tent Cover B-Roll
    2018.11.28
    B-Roll footage of engineers at Northrop Grumman in Los Angeles California, covering the James Webb Space Telescope's Spacecraft Element with a tent cover before it was moved to the acoustic testing facility for testing.
  • Webb's Optical Telescope Element and Spacecraft Element in Northrop Grumman's Cleanroom B-Roll
    2018.07.24
    B-Roll footage of engineers in Northrop Grumman's cleanroom in Redondo Beach California working on the James Webb Space Telescope's spacecraft element and optical telescope element.
  • Webb Unpacked and Mounted in Nothrop Grumman Cleanroom
    2018.04.18
    B-Roll footage of engineers moving the Space Telescope Transport Air Rail and Sea (STTARS) container into Northrop Grumman's M8 cleanroom in Los Angeles California. After STTARS is moved into the cleanroom engineers unload the James Webb Space Telescope from the container an attach the telescope to a rollover fixture.
  • Webb Telescope Move from NASA's Johnson Space Center to Northrop Grumman B-Roll
    2018.03.28
    B-roll footage of engineers transporting the James Webb Space Telescope from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas to Northrop Grumman's cleanroom in Redondo Beach California. Engineers re-installed OTIS into the Space Telescope Transport Air Rail and Sea (STTARS) container at NASA's Johnson Space Center. From there, STTARS was moved to NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, and then to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston Texas. Once at the airfield, engineers loaded STTARS onto a C5 Super Galaxy Transport Aircraft, and had STTARS flown out to Los Angeles International (LAX) Airport. Engineers unloaded STTARS from the C5 Aircraft and transported STTARS to Northrop Grumman M8 Cleanroom facility.
  • Webb Telescope Moved Out of Chamber A After Cryogenic Test B-Roll
    2017.12.21
    B-Roll footage of engineers moving the James Webb Space Telescope out of the cryogenic testing chamber at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas.
  • NASA'S Johnson's Space Center's Chamber A Plenum B-Roll
    2017.10.25
    B-Roll footage of engineers working in NASA's Johnson Space Center's Chamber A Plenum in Houston Texas.
  • NASA's Johnson Space Center's Building 32 Facility B-Roll
    2018.06.11
    B-Roll footage of NASA's Johnson Space Center's Building 32 facility in Houston Texas.
  • Webb Telescope Scientists and Engineers at Johnson Space Center's Control Room B-Roll
    2018.06.11
    B-Roll footage of scientists and engineers working in NASA's Johnson Space Center's control room in Houston Texas during the cryogenic testing on the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • James Webb Space Telescope Update B-Roll
    2018.03.27
    James Webb Space Telescope assembly b-roll footage, deployment animation and science goal animations.
  • Webb Crawler
    2017.12.11
    By land, air and sea, when it’s time to travel, Webb covers the gamut of transportation.
  • NASA'S Johnson Space Center Chamber A Door Closing B-Roll
    2017.10.25
    B-Roll footage of NASA's Johnson Space Center's Chamber A door closing in Houston Texas. Also shows engineers working in Johnson Space Center's control room to monitor the James Webb Space Telescope inside the chamber.
  • Webb Telescope Move into Chamber A
    2017.06.29
    Engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas, roll the James Webb Space Telescope into Chamber A for future cryogenic testing.
  • Webb Lifted on the Hardpoint Offloader Support System (HOSS)
    2017.05.31
    The James Webb Space Telescope is preparing for it's final large test in Chamber A. The Apollo-era vacuum chamber simulates the vacuum and temperatures of space. In this series of shots Webb is being lifted onto the Hardpoint Offloader Support System, or HOSS, for short. The HOSS is a rail system that will support the Telescope as it is pushed into the Chamber. With help from Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX built a new cleanroon around Chamber A in 2013 in preparation for Webb's testing.
  • Webb Transport from GSFC to Joint Base Andrews B-roll
    2017.05.31
    A collection of B-roll and time lapse videos showing the Webb Telescope optics and instrument segment packed and transported to Joint Base Andrews where it is loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C5 Super Galxay aircraft for transport to NASA Johnson Space Center.
  • B-roll Clip of Webb Telescope Transport from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston
    2017.05.29
    B-roll captured of the James Webb Space Telescope optics and instrument segment being transported from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston for cryogenic testing the Chamber A facility at JSC. For expanded B-roll of this process see: entry #12609 entry #12624
  • James Webb Space Telescope in 360 at Johnson Space Center
    2018.10.05
    360 B-Roll footage of the James Webb Space Telescope inside NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
  • Webb Telescope Element Arrives at NASA JSC for Cryogenic Testing
    2017.05.23
    Carried inside a U.S. Air Force C5M Super Galaxy aricraft, the James Webb Space Telescope arrives at Ellington Field Reserve Joint Base near Houston, Texas on May 5, 2017. The Webb Telescope team unloads the telescope and transports it by road to the NASA Johnson Space Center for cryogenic testing. During its transport from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to the NASA Johnson Space Center, the Webb Telescope is kept safe inside the Space Telescope Transport Air Rail and Sea (STTARS) container. At the NASA Johnson Space Center, engineers cleaned and moved STTARS into the Chamber A cleanroom where the Webb Telescope was unloaded and attached to a rollover fixture.
  • B-roll: Webb Telescope Element Packed and Transported to Joint Base Andrews for trip to NASA Johnson Space Center
    2017.05.31
    B-roll clips and time-lapse sequences showing the process of packing the James Webb Space Telescope optics and instrument segment into the Space Telescope Transporter Air Rail and Sea (STTARS) container and transported from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to Joint Base Andrews in early May 2017. At Joint Base Andrews the Webb Telescope, inside its STTARS container, is loaded into a United States Air Force C5M Super Galaxy aircraft for transportion to Ellington Field Air Reserve Base in Houston where The Webb Telescope will be brought to the NASA Johnson Space Center for cryogenic testing.
  • Engineers Test the Webb Telescope's Aft Deployable ISIM Radiator (ADIR)
    2017.05.31
    B-roll of engineers deploying the Webb Telescope's Aft Deployable ISIM Radiator (ADIR). 4K and 1080p B-roll
  • Webb Telescope Acoustic Testing B-Roll
    2017.04.07
    Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center move the James Webb Space Telescope from the Space Systems Development and Integration Facility (SSDIF) cleanroom to the acoustic testing chamber. From here, the Webb telescope will be put through sound pressure tests that simulate the environment it will experience when it is launched on the Ariane V Rocket. Conducting these tests on the ground is critical to demonstrate the hardware is safe to launch. Once these tests are done, the telescope will be moved back into the cleanroom.
  • James Webb Space Telescope Environmental Testing Highlights
    2017.03.09
    At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, engineers tested the James Webb Space Telescope in the vibration and acoustics test facilities to ensure it is prepared for its rigorous ride into space. Rocket launches create high levels of vibration and noise that rattle spacecraft and telescopes. Ground testing is done to simulate the launch induced vibration and noise to ensure a solid design and assembly of the telescope before launch.
  • Webb Telescope Sine Vibration Testing B-Roll
    2017.03.31
    Engineers move the Webb Telescope out of the SSDIF cleanroom and onto the vibration facility at Goddard Space Flight Center. It is here that Webb will undergo its most rigerous testing yet. These Sine vibration tests simulate the vibrations the telescope will feel during launch on the Ariane V Rocket. These tests are critical to demonstrating the hardware is safe to launch. Once the tests are complete, the telescope is moved back into the cleanroom.
  • Placing a Clean Tent over the JWST
    2016.12.23
    B-roll of Webb being covered with a clean tent. This tent will protect the telescope from dust and dirt particles once it is moved from the it’s primary cleanroom to the vibration and acoustic testing areas at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • OTIS Move to Tilt Fixture HD
    2016.12.23
    B-roll of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center moving the James Webb Space Telescope onto the tilt table for inspection.
  • Webb Tent Lights Out Tent Inspection
    2016.12.23
    B-roll of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center inspecting the James Webb Space Telescope. The engineers will use varying types of light and conditions to inspect Webb. Here they have turned off the primary lights in the cleanroom and scanned Webb with high powered flashlights and blacklights.
  • Webb Telescope Element Move 10-3-2016 B-Roll
    2016.11.01
    B-Roll of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center moving the James Webb Space Telescope onto a rollover fixture inside the clearoom. Engineers then proceed to rotate and tilt the telescope on the rollover fixture.
  • Reflections on JWST
    2016.06.27
    A short video created on May 4, 2016, capturing NASA's Goddard's experience viewing the James Webb Space Telescope's beautiful gold-coated mirrors. This view shows the experience from the perspective of someone inside the cleanroom, watching us watch the telescope. The mirrors were rotated to put them in the correct orientation for instrument installation and they were facing the cleanroom observation window for a short time. The curtain was slowly pulled as the telescope rotated because there is propriety tech on the back of the mirrors.
  • JWST Structure Lift and Move
    2016.04.22
    On March 22, 2016 engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center lifted and attached the James Webb Space Telescope to the rollover fixture, with all primary mirror segments. The telescope structure is the carbon fiber framework, which holds all 18 of the telescope's mirrors, the Inegrated Science Instrument Modeule (ISIM) and the tower for the primary mirror.
  • Webb's Heart Endures Its Last Cryogenic Test B-Roll
    2016.04.01
    B-roll of engineers lifting the James Webb Space Telescope's cameras and spectrographs out of the Space Environment Simulator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. These vital parts of the Webb Space Telescope endured their last super-cold test at NASA Goddard before installation into the telescope.
  • Webb's ISIM Begins Last Cryogentic Test
    2016.03.28
    B-roll footage of engineers lifting the Webb Telescope's ISIM into the Space Environment Simulator at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for it's last cryogenic test before integration into the telescope.
  • ISIM structure Centrifuge Test B-roll
    2016.03.28
    Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) is tested on the very large centrifuge at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - May 2011. The centrifuge simulates the increased feeling of gravity's pull during a launch. For astronauts, that's normally a few minutes at two or three times the force of Earth's gravity, measured in Gs. Equipment carried in space shuttle cargo bays usually sees between 6 and 7 Gs because of vibration.
  • JWST Structure Transport to GSFC 8-24-2015
    2016.01.22
    Webb Telescope's Telescope structure arrived at Joint Base Andrews on Monday, August 24, 2015 aboard a U.S. Air Force C-5 cargo plane. The telescope structure, inside the Space Telescope Transporter for Air Road and Sea (STTARS) container, is off-loaded from the C-5 and carefully transported to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. There the container is moved into the cleanroom and opened in preparation for the removal of the telescope structure. The James Webb Space Telescope's telescope structure is a large composite structure that holds and supports Webb's hexagonal mirrors and instruments. The structure supports the weight of the 21-foot (6.5 m) diameter mirror, and 7,500 lbs (2400 kg) of telescope optics and instruments.
  • Webb Telescope’s ISIM Structure Undergoes Vibration Testing
    2016.01.22
    The Webb Telescope’s Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) with all four science instruments mounted to it, undergoes vibration testing at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. This test simulates the vibrations it will encounter during launch on an Arian V rocket.
  • JWST Structure Unpack and Vertical 8-26-2015
    2016.01.22
    The flight structure of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is moved into a vertical position on a platform in the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland on August 26th 2015 The telescope structure includes the primary mirror backplane assembly; the main backplane support fixture; and the deployable tower structure that lifts the telescope off of the spacecraft. The three arms at the top come together into a ring where the secondary mirror will reside.
  • JWST Structure Move to Roll-over Fixture 9-23-2015
    2016.01.22
    JWST backplane structure is lifted and attached to the rollover fixture at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland on September 23, 2015. The telescope structure is essential because it makes up the telescope's carbon fiber framework, which will hold all 18 of the telescope's mirrors and the tower for the primary mirror.
  • Final ISIM Cryo Test
    2015.10.22
    B-roll video for editors showing footage of engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center placing Webb Telescope's ISIM into the Space Environment Simulator for it's final cryogenic test before integration into the telescope. 1080p/29.97
  • JWST Backplane Pathfinder Prepped for Cryo Test in Chamber A B-roll Part 2
    2015.07.20
    Engineers move the Webb Telescope’s Backplane Pathfinder (a flight-like model of the center section of the Webb telescope backplane used to practice assembly and integration before the flight hardware is done) into the huge vacuum and cryogenic test chamber at the NASA Johnson Space Center called Chamber A. This operation tests the facility, procedures and materials in preparation for testing Webb’s flight Backplane.
  • JWST Arm Over-Deploy at GSFC
    2015.06.03
    Setting up NASA's James Webb Space Telescope's secondary mirror in space will require special arms that resemble a tripod. The secondary mirror support structure will unfurl in space to about 8 meters (26.2 feet) long once it is deployed. Engineers inside the world's largest clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland worked on the engineering test unit or "Pathfinder," for the James Webb Space Telescope. Webb’s Pathfinder acts as a spine supporting the telescope primary mirror segments. The Pathfinder is a non-flight prototype. To install the mirrors onto the center structure, the pathfinder must be first be over-deployed, that means engineers must secure two of the struts against the wall so they have plenty of room to work.
  • JWST Backplane Pathfinder Prepped for Cryo Test in Chamber A B-roll Part 1
    2015.06.03
    Inside NASA's giant thermal vacuum chamber, called Chamber A, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the James Webb Space Telescope's Pathfinder backplane test model, is being prepared for its cryogenic test. Previously used for manned spaceflight missions, this historic chamber is now filled with engineers and technicians preparing for a crucial test.
  • Webb’s Science Module with Instruments Complete the Second of Three Cryogenic Vacuum Tests.
    2015.03.17
    The Webb Telescope completes a major test milestone designated CV2 (Cryogenic Vacuum test 2). This test examined the heart of the Webb Telescope, it’s full flight ISIM assembly. This test included all four of Webb’s science instruments (FGS/NIRISS, MIRI, NIRCam, and NIRSpec) with their associated warm electronics boxes and flight harnesses. The more than three month long test inside NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Space Environment Simulator subjected the structure and instruments to the vacuum and cryogenic temperature they will be operating in during the mission. CV2 is the first opportunity to assess the health and functionality of Webb’s ISIM as a whole at its cryogenic operating temperature.
  • Space Enviroment Simulator B-roll
    2015.03.17
    Video footage of the Space Environment Simulator (SES) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The SES uses massive mechanical vacuum pumps augmented with cryopumps to ensure that the hard vacuum of space is simulated in the test chamber. The cryopumps use liquid nitrogen to condense remaining gases out of the chamber once the mechanical pumps have done their work. The two types of pumps work together to eliminate all but the tiniest trace of air in the chamber, down to about a billionth of Earth’s normal atmospheric pressure. To simulate the hot and cold extremes possible in space, the thermal vacuum chamber can reach temperatures in a 600-degree range from 302 F all the way down to -310 F. The cylindrical chamber is 40 feet tall and 27 feet wide.” Engineers use the SES chamber to test the James Webb Space Telescope hardware using a helium shroud that allows temperatures ~ minus 387 F (40 K) and below! The Helium shroud goes inside the SES and enables testing of Webb Telescope hardware and instruments to temperatures they’ll be operating at in space, which is about 40 Kelvin for all but JWST’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) which has an additional cryo-cooler that gets it down to 6-7 Kelvin.
  • Backplane Pathfinder Arrives
    at NASA JSC for Cryotesting
    2015.02.20
    Webb Telescope's Backplane Pathfinder arrives at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston. Engineers will test Pathfinder inside NASA's largest cryogenic vacuum chamber called Chamber A. NASA engineers off-load pathfinder and its shipping container from a US Airforce C-5 cargo plane and tranport it to the Johnson Space Center and into Chamber A's cleanroom.
  • Explore NASA Goddard's Clean Room with Laura Betz
    2015.02.18
    Science Writer Laura Betz takes us behind the scenes inside the world's largest clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland. Explore where Hubble was built and where its successor the James Webb Space Telescope is being assembled today. See the special gowning process engineers go through on a daily basis to enter this super clean environment. This tour gives you a 360 look from the unique filter wall to the storage of Webb's 18 gold plated mirrors. Check out Goddard's Space Environment Simulator, a massive thermal vacuum chamber where scientists and engineers cryo-tested the heart of the telescope, ISIM, by lowering the temperature of the structure to 42 Kelvin (-384.1 Fahrenheit or -231.1 Celsius) and below to ensure that it can withstand the frigid temperatures Webb will face one million miles out in space.
  • Backplane Cryo Testing at MSFC
    2015.02.18
    The primary mirror backplane support structure of the James Webb Space Telescope completed a rigorous testing regime inside the X-Ray and Cryogenic Test Facility at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The structure is essentially the spine of the massive telescope and is the final component to undergo testing at the facility.
  • Pathfinder Arrives at MSFC for Cryogenic Testing B-roll
    2015.02.13
    The James Webb Space Telescope's pathfinder backplane arrives at Marshall Space Flight Center on Sept 18, 2013 for cryogenic testng. The backplane is the "spine" of the telescope and it supports mirror segments. This test item was sent from Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA to NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, MD. It first flew on a C-5 aircraft and then was driven by truck to Goddard.
  • JWST's Backplane Arrives at NASA Marshall Space Center for Testing
    2015.02.11
    A major piece of the James Webb Space Telescope, the mirror's primary backplane support, arrived Aug. 22 2014 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for testing in the X-ray and Cryogenic Test Facility. The backplane is the backbone of the telescope, supporting its 18 beryllium mirrors, instruments and other elements while the telescope is looking into deep space.
  • ISIM Structure Moved into SES
    for Second Cryogenic Test
    2014.06.16
    Engineers move the heart of the Webb Telescope holding all four science instruments out of the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and into the huge Space Environment Simulator for several months of testing at temperatures reaching 20 Kelvin or -425 Fahrenheit.
  • Space Environment Simulator
    Time Lapse
    2013.11.07
    Time Lapse of NASA GSFC Space Environment Simulator (SES) opening and closing
  • ISIM into SES
    for second cryo test
    2013.11.07
    Webb Telescope's heart, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) along with two science instrumnets mounted on to it, the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), is placed into the Space Environment Simulator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for cryogenic testing.
  • Primary Mirror Assembly
    and Intergration Fixture B-roll
    2013.03.08
    Engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center test the robotic-like fixture that will place the primary mirror segments of the Webb Telescope onto the telescopes back plane.
  • JSC Chamber A b-roll
    2012.12.10
    B-roll selects of Chamber A at the Johnson Space Center. Chamber A is the worlds largest space environment test chamber, and is the only facility of it's type large enough to test the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • COCOA B-roll
    2012.11.20
    The Center Of Curvature Optical Assembly (COCOA) will allow the program to verify the optical performance of the 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror at its 40 degrees Kelvin (-233 Celsius) operating temperature. The COCOA contains mechanical and optical instruments that allow the test team to identify, align and test the 18-segments from outside the vacuum chamber.
  • ISIM Completes Cryo Test
    2010.10.01
    A video snap shot showing JWST's Integrated Science Instrumnet Module (ISIM) structure inside Goddard's Space Environment Simulator after it completed cryogenic testing. The snap shot also shows engineers removing the ISIM and returning it to the clean room.
  • Webb Telescope Structure Unpackd and Positioned Vertically 8-26-2015
    2016.01.22
    The flight structure of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is moved into a vertical position on a tiltable platform in the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland on August 26th 2015 The telescope structure includes the primary mirror backplane assembly; the main backplane support fixture; and the deployable tower structure that lifts the telescope off of the spacecraft. The three arms at the top come together into a ring where the secondary mirror will reside.
  • Telescope Structure Move 5/5/16 4K B-Roll
    2017.02.16
    4K B-roll footage of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center moving the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory from the rollover fixture into the assembly stand.
  • Mobile Testing on Webb's Pathfinder Structure
    2015.05.22
    On Sunday January 11 2015, Engineers at NASA Goddard completed mobile testing on the JWST Pathfinder structure. Through frequency response functions, engineers collect response data and provide the results to create a finite element model.
  • Telescope Structure Move 3/22/2016 4K B-Roll
    2017.02.16
    4K B-roll footage of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center moving the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory structure from the assembly stand to the rollover fixture inside the cleanroom.
  • Webb Telescope First Golden Mirror Installation 4K B-Roll
    2017.02.16
    4K B-roll of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center installing the first golden mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope onto the backplane of the telescope.
  • Telescope Structure Move 5/5/16 4K B-Roll
    2017.02.16
    4K B-roll footage of engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center moving the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory from the rollover fixture into the assembly stand.
  • Item 63
    2017.12.11
    By land, air and sea, when it’s time to travel, Webb covers the gamut of transportation.

Timelapse Videos