The world’s next generation cosmic observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, is due for launch on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana in late December.
Developed and constructed over more than 30 years, Webb is a remarkable feat of engineering and technology – with the largest astronomical mirror ever flown in space, sophisticated new scientific instruments, and a sunshield the size of a tennis court.
Webb is a joint project between NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency and will reveal the Universe in a whole new light. Optimized for infrared wavelengths, its detectors will be able to look back to shortly after the very dawn of time, revealing the formation of the first galaxies, as well as study stars and planets in our own Milky Way.
Video contains interviews with ESA’s Senior Advisor for Science and Exploration, Mark McCaughrean, Kai Noeske, ESA Science Communication Programme Officer, and NIRSpec Instrument Scientist, Giovanna Giardino.