Universe  ID: 11142

In The Beginning

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

Story Credits

Lead Visualizer/Animator:
Chris Meaney (HTSI)

Lead Writer:
Laura Betz (Telophase)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Mirror testing photo courtesy of NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Sun shield photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

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