What is the James Webb Space Telescope?

Instruments of JWST - NASA

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been in development for about 21 years now, and it is finally launching... In this blog, we will be exploring what this telescope will accomplish in space, and we will share some awesome resources to learn more about it.

The JWST was originally set to launch in 2007-- but after being delayed for years, it is finally (cross your fingers) being launched on December 25th, 2021. After launch to the L2 point, or the closest Lagrange point to Earth (which is much farther than the current Hubble Space Telescope), the telescope will be set to unfold and deploy its cooling shields. This process will take about two weeks to a month after launch to prepare JWST for imaging. And just preparing it in orbit will have about 200+ potential points of failure. This is said to be by far the most ambitious space telescope launch (so far) and will be a huge scientific leap from our current Hubble Space Telescope.

JWST will be a near-infrared optical telescope that is set to study the light of the first galaxies, and also explore distant exoplanets to determine if there is any potential for life as we know it.

To learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope, see the below resources! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.


James Webb Space Telescope Launch Replay:

The JWST has finally launched!!! See the replay here.

James Webb Space Telescope Explained in 9 Minutes:

This is a fantastic video by YouTube creator Perception explaining the basics of JWST.

JWST Arrives in the French Guinea for Launch on the Ariane 5:

The Road to Launch and Deployment:

Click the button below to visit NASA's featured news post about James Webb, this page also has a bunch of fantastic resources for learning!


Have any resources you would like to add to the list? Send them over to aem242@txstate.edu!