James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2019 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own MIlky Way Glaxy. 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 will have 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 won't fit onto the Ariane 5 rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open once Webb is in outer space. Webb will operate in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth. The James Webb Space Telescope was named after the NASA Administrator who crafted Apollo program, and who was a staunch supporter of space science.

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Spacecraft Animation

  • Webb Spacecraft Segment Animation (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 Spacecraft Segment Animation 360 camera move (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.
  • Alignment of the Primary Mirror Segments of The James Webb Space Telescope
    2017.09.19
    Engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston used light waves to align the James Webb Space Telescope’s mirror segments to each other, so they act like a single, monolithic mirror in the cryogenic cold of the center’s iconic Chamber A. Part of the Webb telescope’s ongoing cryogenic testing in Chamber A at Johnson includes aligning, or “phasing,” the telescope’s 18 hexagonally shaped primary mirror segments so they function as a single 6.5-meter mirror. All of these segments must have the correct position and correct curvature; otherwise, the telescope will not be able to accurately focus on its celestial targets. To measure the shape of the Webb telescope’s primary mirror, engineers use a test device called an interferometer, which shines a laser down onto the mirror. Because the mirror is segmented, it requires a specially designed interferometer, known as a multi-wavelength interferometer, which allows the engineers to use two light waves at once, explained Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The interferometer splits the laser light into two separate waves. One of these waves goes through a lens and reflects off the primary mirror; the other wave acts as a reference. The reflected wave interferes with (meets) the reference wave, and engineers analyze the combined wave that results from that interference. “By analyzing the interference signal, engineers determine the mirror shape and the alignment of the mirrors,” explained Feinberg. When the engineers need to adjust the positions and shapes of the mirror segments to achieve precise alignment, they use the seven actuators (tiny mechanical motors) attached to the back of each one of the mirror segments. For each segment, six of these actuators are placed into groups of two, at three equally spaced points along the outside of the mirror (to adjust the segment’s position), and one is attached to six struts that are connected to each of the hexagonal mirror segment’s corners (to adjust the segment’s shape).
  • Webb Telescope Narrated Deployment Sequence (4 min.)
    2016.11.10
    The Webb Telesope is the largest space telescope ever built. It's too large to fit inside any rocket faring. So, it needs to be folded, like orgami, to fit inside the Ariane V rocket faring. Once in space, Webb begins a well choreographed sequence of deployments to unfold to its full operational state. The stages of Webb's deployment process are narrated in this video.
  • James Webb Space Telescope Beauty Pass
    2016.09.20
    Animation "beauty pass" of the James Webb Space Telescope in 4k resolution.
  • JWST Flyby at L2
    2015.09.25
    A flyby of the James Webb Space Telescope at the second LaGrange point
  • JWST Pan Past L2 Point
    2015.09.25
    A pan past the James Webb Space Telescope at the second LaGrange point
  • Deployment Animation
    with Flight Path
    and Deploy Sequence
    2014.04.23
    Animation showing the James Webb Telescope's flight path and deployment sequence.
  • Deployment Animation
    2010.10.28
    The Webb Telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own solar system.
  • Deployment Segments
    and Beauty Animations
    2010.02.23
    Animation sequences of the Webb Telescope in orbit.
  • Webb Spacecraft Animations 2
    2010.02.23
    Animation sequences of the Webb Telescope in orbit.

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

Instrument & Component Animation

  • 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 Science Concept Animations

Optics B-Roll

Instrument B-roll

  • 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

  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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.

Full Scale Webb Telescope Model

Produced Videos

  • NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Arrives Safely at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in California
    2018.02.05
    After completing its cryogenic testing in NASA Johnson Space Center’s Chamber A, the optical and science segment of the James Webb Space Telescope is packed and transported to the Northrop Grumman facility in Los Angeles. There, it will be combined with its sunshield and spacecraft bus, tested and then packed for the journey to the European Space Agency’s launch facility in French Guiana.
  • James Webb Space Telescope: An Overview
    2017.12.13
    The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest telescope ever sent into space. It is the impressive result of efforts from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency and will peer to the edges of the visible universe. This video highlights some of the Webb’s most impressive facts. This is an updated and narrated version of the Top Ten Facts about the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • Discovering the First Light
    2017.10.25
    The James Webb Space Telescope feature for the 2017 American Astronomical Society (AAS) Event.
  • James Webb Space Telescope Laser-Focused Sight
    2017.10.26
    About 1 million miles away from the nearest eye surgeon, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be able to perfect its own vision while in orbit. Though the Webb telescope will focus on stars and galaxies approximately 13.5 billion light-years away, its sight goes through a similar process as you would if you underwent laser vision correction surgery to be able to focus on an object 10 feet across the room. In orbit at Earth’s second Lagrange point (L2), far from the help of a terrestrial doctor, Webb will use its near-infrared camera (NIRCam) instrument to help align its primary mirror segments about 40 days after launch, once they have unfolded from their unaligned stowed position and cooled to their operating temperatures. Laser vision correction surgery reshapes the cornea of the eye to remove imperfections that cause vision problems like nearsightedness. The cornea is the surface of the eye; it helps focus rays of light on the retina at the back of the eye, and though it appears to be uniform and smooth, it can be misshapen and pockmarked with dents, dimples, and other imperfections that can affect a person’s sight. The relative positioning of Webb’s primary mirror segments after launch will be the equivalent of these corneal imperfections, and engineers on Earth will need to make corrections to the mirrors’ positions to bring them into alignment, ensuring they will produce sharp, focused images. These corrections are made through a process called wavefront sensing and control, which aligns the mirrors to within tens of nanometers. During this process, a wavefront sensor (NIRCam in this case) measures any imperfections in the alignment of the mirror segments that prevent them from acting like a single, 6.5-meter (21.3-foot) mirror. An eye surgeon performing wavefront-guided laser vision correction surgery (a process that was improved by technology developed to shape Webb’s mirrors) similarly measures and three-dimensionally maps any inconsistencies in the cornea. The system feeds this data to a laser, the surgeon customizes the procedure for the individual, and the laser then reshapes and resurfaces the cornea according to that procedure. Engineers on Earth will not use a laser to melt and reshape Webb’s mirrors (feel free to give a sigh of relief); instead, they will use NIRCam to take images to determine how much they need to adjust each of the telescope’s 18 mirror segments. They can adjust the segments through extremely minute movements of each mirror segment’s seven actuators (tiny mechanical motors) — in steps of about 1/10,000th the diameter of a human hair. The wavefront sensing and control process is broken into two parts — coarse phasing and fine phasing. During coarse phasing, engineers point the telescope toward a bright star and use NIRCam to find any large offsets between the mirror segments (though “large” is relative, and in this case it means mere millimeters). NIRCam has a special filter wheel that can select, or filter, specific optical elements that are used during the coarse phasing process. While Webb looks at the bright star, grisms in the filter wheel will spread the white light of the star out on a detector. Grisms, also called grating prisms, are used to separate light of different wavelengths. To an observer, these different wavelengths appear as parallel line segments on a detector. “The light from each segment will interfere with adjacent segments, and if the segments are not aligned to better than a wavelength of light, that interference shows up like barber pole patterns,” explained Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The analysis of the barber pole patterns tell the engineers how to move the mirrors.” During fine phasing, engineers will again focus the telescope on a bright star. This time, they will use NIRCam to take 18 out-of-focus images of that star — one from each mirror segment. The engineers then use computer algorithms to determine the overall shape of the primary mirror from those individual images, and to determine how they must move the mirrors to align them. These algorithms were previously tested and verified on a 1/6th scale model of Webb’s optics, and the real telescope experienced this process inside the cryogenic, airless environment of Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Engineers will go through multiple fine-phasing sessions until those 18 separate, out-of-focus images become a single, clear image. After the engineers align the primary mirror segments, they must align the secondary mirror to the primary, then align both the primary and secondary mirrors to the tertiary mirror and the science instruments. Though the engineers complete the initial alignment with NIRCam, Feinberg explained they also test the alignment with Webb’s other instruments to ensure the telescope is aligned “over the full field.” The entire alignment process is expected to take several months, and once Webb begins making observations, its mirrors will need to be checked every few days to ensure they are still aligned — just as someone who underwent laser vision correction surgery will schedule regular eye doctor visits to make sure their vision is not degrading. The James Webb Space Telescope, the scientific complement to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, will be the premier space observatory of the next decade. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). For more information about the Webb telescope visit: www.webb.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webb By Eric Villard NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • What Lurks Beneath NASA’s Chamber A
    2017.10.18
    Hidden below Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston is an area engineers used to test critical contamination control technology that has helped keep NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope clean during cryogenic testing. This voluminous area is called the plenum, and it supports the weight of the chamber above as well as houses some of the cabling and plumbing for it. Before Webb’s cryogenic testing in the chamber commenced, engineers ventured to the plenum’s depths to test NASA-developed technology designed to remove molecular contaminants from the air. Catching contaminants Nithin Abraham, a coatings engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is part of a contamination control team tasked with ensuring Webb remains as clean as possible during its testing in Chamber A. Abraham developed and tested a highly permeable and porous material called molecular adsorber coating (MAC), which can be sprayed onto surfaces to passively capture contaminants that could be harmful to Webb’s optics and science instruments. Not to be confused with absorption, adsorption is the process in which microscopic materials (for example, atoms and molecules) adhere to a surface — in this case, to the surface of a panel coated with the MAC. The MAC panel secures contaminants released through outgassing, a process that occurs when gas that was dissolved, absorbed, or otherwise trapped within a substance is released into the surrounding environment. An example of this is the coveted “new car smell” of a freshly manufactured automobile. Even minute amounts of outgassed material within the plenum could have posed a threat to Webb’s optics and science instruments located in Chamber A, so Abraham and her team — engineers turned spelunkers — descended into the cave-like space to place the MAC panels. To reach the plenum, the engineers walked single file along a narrow, mineshaft-like passageway between the helium shroud that surrounds the Webb telescope and the wall of the chamber, then descended a ladder into the cylindrical room. Light along the path and within the plenum is sparse, so the engineers donned headlamps before they made the journey. They also wore oxygen sensors to warn them if oxygen levels inside the plenum were getting low. The MAC panels in the plenum primarily captured hydrocarbons and silicone-based compounds. These contaminants are ghosts of the Apollo era, when a mechanism within the central cylinder of the plenum rotated the floor of the chamber above. This rotation simulated the thermal roll used to evenly disperse heat on the Apollo spacecraft during their journeys to and from the Moon. Nithin and her team also placed MAC panels inside Chamber A, including on the outside of the helium shroud. Shielding the Webb telescope MAC panels are only one type of contamination control protecting the Webb telescope from both microscopic and macroscopic threats. Engineers wear white cleanroom suits to prevent particles of skin, hair, and clothing fibers from depositing on the telescope. Similarly, Webb has moved from cleanroom to cleanroom because they are specially designed to reduce the amount of airborne particles present. Engineers enter the cleanrooms using airlocks, and the rooms have positive air pressure compared to their surrounding environment, so air flows out of the area and takes any potential contaminants with it. If Webb’s sensitive instruments and mirrors get contaminated despite these precautions, the contaminants can be carefully removed using solvents and other cleaning techniques, such as shooting carbon-dioxide snow at the affected areas. Outgassing in space When a spacecraft is exposed to the vacuum of space, outgassing occurs from epoxies, tapes, lubricants, plastics, and other materials used to construct it. For Webb, the biggest threat from outgassing comes early in its mission, shortly after launch when the telescope is cooling down but is still warm. “Fortunately, warm things outgas but cold things not so much, so once the telescope and instruments go cold, the outgassing goes way down,” explained Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager for the Webb telescope at Goddard. Engineers will control the temperatures of the different parts of the observatory as it cools so outgassed molecules from one part do not deposit elsewhere, such as on sensitive surfaces like the optics, but instead escape to space. Though the MAC is only being used terrestrially and peripherally for Webb, engineers are researching ways to apply the coating directly to elements of future NASA spacecraft, as an added measure of protection. The James Webb Space Telescope, the scientific complement to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, will be the premier space observatory of the next decade. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). For more information about NASA’s Webb telescope, visit: www.webb.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webb Read more about how we are keeping Chamber A free of contaminants: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-technology-protects-webb-telescope-from-contamination
  • Alignment of the Primary Mirror Segments of The James Webb Space Telescope
    2017.09.19
    Engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston used light waves to align the James Webb Space Telescope’s mirror segments to each other, so they act like a single, monolithic mirror in the cryogenic cold of the center’s iconic Chamber A. Part of the Webb telescope’s ongoing cryogenic testing in Chamber A at Johnson includes aligning, or “phasing,” the telescope’s 18 hexagonally shaped primary mirror segments so they function as a single 6.5-meter mirror. All of these segments must have the correct position and correct curvature; otherwise, the telescope will not be able to accurately focus on its celestial targets. To measure the shape of the Webb telescope’s primary mirror, engineers use a test device called an interferometer, which shines a laser down onto the mirror. Because the mirror is segmented, it requires a specially designed interferometer, known as a multi-wavelength interferometer, which allows the engineers to use two light waves at once, explained Lee Feinberg, optical telescope element manager for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The interferometer splits the laser light into two separate waves. One of these waves goes through a lens and reflects off the primary mirror; the other wave acts as a reference. The reflected wave interferes with (meets) the reference wave, and engineers analyze the combined wave that results from that interference. “By analyzing the interference signal, engineers determine the mirror shape and the alignment of the mirrors,” explained Feinberg. When the engineers need to adjust the positions and shapes of the mirror segments to achieve precise alignment, they use the seven actuators (tiny mechanical motors) attached to the back of each one of the mirror segments. For each segment, six of these actuators are placed into groups of two, at three equally spaced points along the outside of the mirror (to adjust the segment’s position), and one is attached to six struts that are connected to each of the hexagonal mirror segment’s corners (to adjust the segment’s shape).
  • James Webb Space Telescope’s Multifaceted MIRI
    2018.01.25
    James Webb Space 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. MIRI covers the wavelength range of 5 to 28.5 microns. Its sensitive detectors will allow it to see the redshifted light of distant galaxies, helping identify the first galaxies in the universe, observe newly forming stars by peering inside dust-shrouded stellar nurseries, and analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets for markers of potential life. MIRI's camera will provide wide-field, broadband imaging that will return breathtaking astrophotography. 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.
  • Webb Moves to Johnson Space Center
    2017.05.31
    May 2017 marked the end of an era for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center because the James Webb Space Telescope has moved to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

    Webb has been at Goddard in some form for 21 years. And with the completion of the acoustic, vibration and center of curvature tests, the telescope part of the Webb spacecraft was finally ready for the next big test - the cryogenic vacuum test in the Apollo-made-famous Chamber A.

    Transporting Webb is a carefully choreographed dance. For the move to Johnson, the telescope was placed into a climate-controlled container called STTARS (Space Telescope Transporter for Air Road and Sea). A truck then slowly moved the large container during the night to Joint Base Andrews where it was loaded into a C-5 cargo airplane. The container is so tall that some power lines and traffic lights were moved.

    After a flight to Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, Webb was driven to Johnson.

    Webb was unpacked in Houston's Chamber A cleanroom and preparation for testing commenced.

  • NASA Puts Football Through Same Paces as World's Most Advanced Space Telescope
    2017.02.01
    While two football teams will be put to the test at Super Bowl LI in Houston, engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are testing the most powerful space telescope ever built, the James Webb Space Telescope. To demonstrate all the shaking, quaking and super-chill temperatures the Webb telescope is going through, Goddard engineers did similar tests - with a football. Being launched on a rocket creates high levels of noise and vibration, and once in orbit the Webb telescope will have to function under extreme temperatures. So NASA engineers are doing vibration, acoustics and other tests to ensure that the Webb telescope will function properly. Once in orbit about 930,000 miles (1.5 million km) from Earth, the Webb telescope will provide images of the first galaxies ever formed and explore planets around distant stars. It is a joint project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency. For more information about the Webb telescope, visit: www.jwst.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webb.
  • Webb Telescope Narrated Launch and Deploy (12-minute)
    2016.12.13
    Produced by Northrop Grumman, this narrated 12-minute video describes the James Webb Space Telescope's launch and deploy process.
  • Completion of the Webb Telescope Element Milestone feature
    2016.11.02
    Thousands of people, for almost two decades, accomplished the construction of the telescope element of the largest space telescope ever created. The optical and science segment of the James Webb Space Telescope stands complete in one of the largest cleanrooms in the world, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Top Ten Facts about the James Webb Space Telescope
    2016.11.02
    The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest telescope ever sent into space. It is the impressive result of efforts from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency and will peer to the edges of the visible universe. This video highlights some of the Webb’s most impressive facts.
  • Top Ten Facts about the James Webb Space Telescope
    2016.11.02
    The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest telescope ever sent into space. It is the impressive result of efforts from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency and will peer to the edges of the visible universe. This video highlights some of the Webb’s most impressive facts.
  • Webb's Heart Endures Its Last Cryogenic Test Before Installation Into the Telescope
    2016.03.29
    Engineers lift 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 Telescope ISIM structure Centrifuge Test
    2016.03.28
    A produced video of the Webb Telescope's ISIM structure 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 Primary Mirror Installation Complete
    2016.02.09
    Engineers have been working tirelessly to install all 18 of the final primary mirror segments, on what will be the biggest and most powerful space telescope ever launched. Completing the assembly of the primary mirror, which took place at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is a significant milestone and the culmination of over a decade of design, manufacturing, and testing the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope.
  • Webb First Mirror Install
    2015.12.03
    Produced Video showing engineers in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center cleanroom placing the first mirror on the Webb Telescope.
  • Ready For Mirror Assembly
    2015.11.30
    Produced video showing engineers in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center cleanroom lifting the Webb Telescope telescope structure into the assembly stand in preparation for installation of the primary mirror segments.
  • Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module begins Final Super Cold Test
    2015.10.22
    Engineers lift and lower the heart of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope into the Space Environment Simulator, a giant thermal vacuum and cryogenic test chamber, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • Final ISIM Cryo Test
    2015.10.22
    Produced video showing engineers placing the Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) with all four Webb telescope instruments into the Space Environment Simulator for its last cryogenic test before being integraed into the telescope. (10-14-2015)
  • NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Stands Tall
    2015.09.16
    The flight structure of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope was standing tall in the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Webb Telescope Backplane Arrives at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    2015.08.26
    Webb Telescope's Backplane arrived at Joint Base Andrews on Monday, August 24, 2015 aboard a U.S. Air Force C-5 cargo plane. The Backplane, 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 Backplane. The Webb Telescope's Backplane is a large composite structure that holds and supports Webb's hexagonal mirrors. The backplane supports the weight of the 21-foot (6.5 m) diameter mirror, and 7,500 lbs (2400 kg) of telescope optics and instruments.
  • Pathfinder: Secondary Mirror Support Structure Stowed for Transport 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.
  • NIRSpec Microshutter Replacement at GSFC
    2015.05.27
    In this NASA video, engineers from Airbus Defense and Space (DS), Ottobrunn, Germany, dressed in white protective suits and special white gloves, recently completed a delicate surgical procedure to exchange two key components, the Micro Shutter Array and the Focal Plane Assembly from the "heart" of an instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • Dr. John Mather Presentation: Traveling in Space and Time with the James Webb Space Telescope
    2015.03.17
    Nobel laureate and James Webb Space Telescope Project Scientist, Dr. John Mather discusses space, time and the Webb Telescope. (TRT: 60 mintues)
  • Microshutters Moved
    for Testing
    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.
  • ISIM moves for 2nd 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.
  • NIRSpec Integration
    Video Snap Shot
    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.
  • NIRCam Integration
    Video Snap Shot
    2014.04.08
    Engineers install the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) into the Webb Telescope's Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center cleanroom. The 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. The NIRCam instrument was built and designed by the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin.
  • The Webb Telescope Update
    2014.02.03
    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland participated in a news conference Feb. 3 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to discuss the status of the agency's flagship science project, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Bolden and Mikulski congratulated the JWST team for the integration at Goddard of all the telescope's flight instruments and primary mirrors.

    The most powerful space telescope ever built, Webb will be the premiere observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our universe, including the first luminous glows after the big bang, the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets similar to Earth, and the evolution of our own solar system.

  • Disk Detective: Search for Planetary Habitats
    2014.01.30
    A new NASA-sponsored website, DiskDetective.org, lets the public discover embryonic planetary systems hidden among data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

    The site is led and funded by NASA and developed by the Zooniverse, a collaboration of scientists, software developers and educators who collectively develop and manage the Internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects.

    WISE, located in Earth orbit and designed to survey the entire sky in infrared light, completed two scans between 2010 and 2011. It took detailed measurements of more than 745 million objects, representing the most comprehensive survey of the sky at mid-infrared wavelengths currently available. Astronomers have used computers to search this haystack of data for planet-forming environments and narrowed the field to about a half-million sources that shine brightly in the infrared, indicating they may be "needles": dust-rich circumstellar disks that are absorbing their star's light and reradiating it as heat.

    Planets form and grow within these disks. But galaxies, interstellar dust clouds, and asteroids also glow in the infrared, which stymies automated efforts to identify planetary habitats.

    Disk Detective incorporates images from WISE and other sky surveys in the form of brief animations the website calls flip books. Volunteers view a flip book and then classify the object based on simple criteria, such as whether the image is round or includes multiple objects. By collecting this information, astronomers will be able to assess which sources should be explored in greater detail.

    The project aims to find two types of developing planetary environments. The first, known as young stellar object disks, typically are less than 5 million years old, contain large quantities of gas, and are often found in or near young star clusters. For comparison, our own solar system is 4.6 billion years old.

    The other type of habitat is called a debris disk. These systems tend to be older than 5 million years, possess little or no gas, and contain belts of rocky or icy debris that resemble the asteroid and Kuiper belts found in our own solar system. Vega and Fomalhaut, two of the brightest stars in the sky, host debris disks.

    Through Disk Detective, volunteers will help the astronomical community discover new planetary nurseries that will become future targets for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.

  • Webb Telescope NIRSpec Instrument Arrives at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    2013.11.01
    JWST Telescope NIRSpec instrument arrives at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. NIRSpec is provided by the European Space Agency and built by EADS/Astrium. The Near-Infared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will be the first multi-object spectrograph to fly in space.
  • Cal Poly Students Build
    Deployable Webb Model
    2013.09.27
    Engineering students from California Polytechnic Institute brought their Webb Telescope deployment model to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The students demonstrated this detailed, robotic version of Webb for the NASA team building the real thing. It’s a one – sixth scale model, and it performs the deployments the Webb Telescope will carry out before it begins science gathering.
  • ISIM Goes into NASA's Huge Space Environment Simulator for Another Cryo Test
    2013.09.25
    The Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM), which is the heart of the Webb Telescope, is placed into the Space Environment Simulator (SES) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for cryogenic testing. During this test, the ISIM is supporting the Mid-InfraRed Instument (MIRI) and the Fine Guidance Sensor / Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS).
  • NIRCam Instrument
    Arrives at GSFC
    2013.08.09
    The optical module of Webb Telescope's primary imager, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) arrives at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
  • FGS and NIRISS integrated
    into ISIM Time Lapse
    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.

  • Assembly Arm Test
    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.
  • Chamber A
    Readies for Webb
    2013.01.25
    When the next-generation space telescope was being designed, engineers had to ensure there was a place large enough to test it, considering it's as big as a tennis court. That honor fell upon the famous "Chamber A" in the thermal-vacuum test facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

    NASA's "Chamber A" thermal vacuum testing chamber famous for being used during Apollo missions has now been upgraded and remodeled to accommodate testing the James Webb Space Telescope.

    Chamber A is now the largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical test chamber in the world, and made famous for testing the space capsules for NASA's Apollo mission, with and without the mission crew.

    For three years, NASA Johnson engineers have been building and remodeling the chamber interior for the temperature needed to test the Webb. Testing will confirm the telescope and science instrument systems will perform properly together in the cold temperatures of space. Additional test support equipment includes mass spectrometers, infrared cameras and television cameras so engineers can keep an eye on the Webb while it's being tested.

  • COCOA Readies for
    Cryogenic Test
    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.
  • Secondary Mirror
    Arrival at NASA GSFC
    2012.11.20
    James Webb Space Telescope's Secondary Mirror, along with a Primary Mirror segment arrives at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Nov. 5, 2012.
  • NASA Completes Mirror
    Polishing
    2011.06.29
    Completion of Webb Telescope mirror polishing represents a major mission milestone. All of the mirrors that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope have been polished so the observatory can see objects as far away as the first galaxies in the universe. The mirrors were polished at Tinsley Laboratories Inc. in Richmond, Calif. to accuracies of less than one millionth of an inch. This accuracy is important for forming the sharpest images when the mirrors cool to -400 degrees farenheit (-240 degrees celsius) in the cold of space.
  • Planetary Studies
    Webb Science Feature
    2010.11.03
    The Webb Space Telescope will study planetary bodies with our solar system and planets orbiting other stars to help scientists better understand how planets form and how they evolve.
  • Evolution of the Universe
    Webb Science Feature
    2010.11.01
    Astrophyscists and astonomers will use the James Webb Space Telescope to unravel mysteries about the evolution of the Universe. The Webb telscope will help observe how the first stars gathered into the first galaxies, and those first galaxies collided and merged into larger galaxies and evolved into the Universe we see today.
  • Galaxy Evolution
    Webb Science Feature
    2010.11.01
    Astrophysicists and astronomers will use the James Webb Space Telescope to see further than Hubble to witness the origin and development of galaxies.
  • Planetary Evolution
    Webb Science Feature
    2010.10.28
    A fully produced video about planetary evolution and how the Webb Telelscope's ability to see inside dense clouds of gas and dust will help us better understand solar system formation and evolution.
  • Colliding Galaxies
    Webb Science Feature
    2010.10.28
    Deep surveys by the James Webb Space Telescope will capture the full panorama of galaxy evolution, from the earliest dwarf galaxies that formed to the familiar galaxies we see today. The Webb Telescope will help us understand how the shape, structure and chemical content of galaxies change over the sweep of cosmic history.
  • Webb Mirror Testing at Marshall
    2010.10.01
    A video snap shot of Webb's primary mirror segment testing at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
  • NIRCamETU Arrives
    at Goddard
    2010.10.01
    A video snap shot showing the arrival of JWST Near Infrared Camera Engineering Test Unit arrival at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Fine Guidance Sensor ETU
    Arrives at Goddard
    2010.10.01
    A video snap shot showing the arrival and unpacking of the JWST Fine Guidance Sensor Engineering Test Unit at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • ISIM Completes First
    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 NIRCam Engineering Test Unit Arrives at Goddard
    2010.10.01
    A video snap shot showing the arrival of JWST Near Infrared Camera Engineering Test Unit arrival at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Webb Telescope Mission
    Movie Trailer
    2010.02.10
    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. Launch is planned for 2018.

    The Webb Telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

    Formerly known as the "Next Generation Space Telescope" (NGST) and considered the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the telescope was renamed in Sept. 2002 after former NASA administrator, James Webb.

    For more information about the Webb Telescope go to: http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/.

  • John Mather Lecture
    2009.10.27
    From the Big Bang to the Nobel Prize and on to the James Webb Space Telescope and the Discovery of Alien Life
  • Vibration Testing of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope
    2017.03.28
    Inside NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the James Webb Space Telescope team completed the environmental portion of vibration testing on the telescope. A shaker table is used to shake satellites to ensure a spacecraft like Webb can withstand the shaking that comes with a ride into space on a rocket. The new vibration test system simulates the forces the telescope will feel during the launch by vibrating it from 5 to 100 times per second. For more information about NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, visit: www.jwst.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webb.
  • Webb Telescope Structure Practice Move 7-14-16
    2017.02.13
    A short featurette about how engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland practice moving a mock up version of the James Webb Space Telescope onto the vibration facility, before moving the actual telescope for sine vibration tests.

Timelapse Videos

  • Webb Telescope's Houston Highlights Time Lapse
    2018.01.10
    With NASA's James Webb Space Telescope's approximately nine-month stay in Texas coming to an end, this time-lapse shows activity in the NASA Johnson Space Center's Chamber A cleanroom from the arrival of the Webb Telescope's optical and instrument segment through to its roll out from the chamber after completing it's cryogenic testing.
  • Time Laspe of Webb Telescope Loading into C5M Super Galaxy aircraft at Joint Base Andrews
    2017.05.31
    Time laspe of the Webb Telescope being loaded into a U.S. Airforce C5M Super Galaxy aircraft at Joint Base Andrews
  • Time Lapse of Engineers Packing the Webb Telescope for Shipping to NASA JSC
    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.
  • Time-Lapse of Webb Rotating Inside the Chamber A Cleanroom
    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.
  • Time Lapse of Webb Telescope Unpacking in NASA JSC Chamber A Cleanroom
    2017.05.23
    Carried inside a U.S. Air Force C5M Super Galaxy aircraft, 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.
  • Time Lapse of STTARS Container Unload from C5M Super Galaxy
    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.
  • Time Lapse of Webb Telescope being unlaoded at Ellington Field Reserve Base in Houston
    2017.05.23
    On May 5, 2017, the Webb Telescope team unloads the telescope from a C5M Super Galaxy aircraft at Ellington Field Reserve Base in Houston.
  • 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.
  • JWST Moves to Vibration Table: Time Lapse
    2016.12.23
    Timelapse of the tented Webb Telescope being moved from the cleanroom and then lifted onto the vibration testing table. The vibration tests will simulate launch conditions.
  • JWST Moves to Vibration Table: Time Lapse
    2016.12.23
    Timelapse of the tented Webb Telescope being moved from the cleanroom and then lifted onto the vibration testing table. The vibration tests will simulate launch conditions.
  • Behind the Scenes Timelapse of Webb Glamour Shot Production
    2016.11.02
    Thousands of people, for almost two decades, accomplished the construction of the telescope element of the largest space telescope ever created. The optical and science segment of the James Webb Space Telescope stands complete in one of the largest cleanrooms in the world, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • NASA's Webb Strikes a Pose
    2016.07.08
    Recently, in the giant clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, engineers gave the James Webb Space Telescope a "lift and tilt" during testing making it appear to strike a pose in this time lapse video. Featured in this video is Webb's combined telescope and science instrument package.
  • Webb Telescope's Science Instrument Installation Time Lapse
    2016.06.07
    Time lapse video of two dozen engineers and technicians successfully installing 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. The entire installation process took approximately 17 hours to complete.
  • JWST Primary Mirror Tilt and Rollover Timelapse
    2016.05.05
    On May 4th 2016 engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center tilted the uncovered primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope upright and to a rollover position. In this rare timelapse video see inside the world's largest clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland as the James Webb Space Telescope team lifts and turns the telescope for the first time. With glimmering gold surfaces, the large primary and rounded secondary mirror on this telescope are specially designed to reflect infrared light from some of the first stars ever born. The team will now begin to prepare to install the telescope's science instruments to the back of the mirrors. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency. For more information, visit: www.jwst.nasa.gov or www.nasa.gov/webb
  • Webb Secondary Mirror Deploy Timelapse - March 3, 2016
    2016.04.14
    Time lapse captured on Mach 3, 2016 as engineers deploy Webb Telescope's Secondary Mirror Support Structure with the Seconday Mirror installed.
  • Webb Mirror Installation Time Lapse
    2016.02.05
    Time lapse of Webb Telescope's 18 mirror segment installation at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with music.
  • JWST's Pathfinder Backplane Deployment Time Lapse
    2016.01.22
    This time-lapse video by Northrop Grumman shows part of the pathfinder (test) backplane. Attached to this center section of the backplane are the secondary mirror booms. The telescope's secondary mirror will sit at the end of these booms. Because the telescope is folded for launch, the booms must deploy afterwards. This video shows one of the tests of the deployment of the booms.
  • JWST's Sunshield Full Deploy Test Time Lapse
    2015.02.13
    A major test of the sunshield for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was conducted in July 2014 by Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, Calif. For the first time, the five sunshield test layers were unfolded and separated; unveiling important insights for the engineers and technicians as to how the deployment will take place when the telescope launches into space. The sunshield will allow the telescope to cool down to a temperature below 50 Kelvin (equal to -370 degree F, or -223 degree C) by passively radiating its heat into space.
  • JWST Backplane Arrives at Goddard Time Lapse
    2015.02.11
    Time lapse of James Webb Space Telescope's Pathfinder mirror backplane arriving at Goddard Space Flight Center for critical assembly testing. Webb's backplane is the large structure which holds and supports the big hexagonal mirrors of the telescope. The backplane has an important job as it must support the weight of the 21-foot (6.5 m) diameter mirror, but it also will be carrying 7,500 lbs (2400 kg) of telescope optics and instruments.
  • Sunshield Deploy Test
    Time Lapse
    2014.04.15
    Engineers at Northrop Grumman deploy one side of a 5-layer sunshield engineering test article as a proof of concept test for the Webb Telescope's sunshield.