James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) will be the most powerful telescope every launched into space. It is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2021, from the European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana, in SouthAmerica.

Webb is optimized for infrared wavelengths. It will be able to detect longer wavelengths than the Hubble Space Telescope does, so it will be able to see galaxies that were formed in the early universe. Webb will also be able to see inside nebula and dust clouds were planets and stars are forming.

The Webb Telescope Deployment Sequence video which details what happens at launch and after launch is available HERE.

Launch!
0-26 minutesAriane rocket provides thrust.
3.5 minutespayload fairing separation
30 minuteslaunch vehicle separation
solar array deployment
2 hourshigh gain antennae deployment
12 hoursfirst trajectory correction maneuver
2.5 dayssecond trajectory correction maneuver
2.5 to 6 daysfore and aft sunshield pallets deployment
telescope and spacecraft bus separation
tower assembly deployment
full sunshield deployment
secondary mirror and side wings mirror deployment
one monthflight software initialization
mid-course correction
two monthsFine Guidance Sensor (FGS), Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), and Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) turned on
NIRCam takes first image
mirror segments are focused
three monthsprimary mirror segments alignment
Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI) turned on
Webb arrives at orbit position!*
four to six monthsinstrument calibration
Webb begins its scientific mission!

* Webb will orbit the Sun at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2), which is approximately 1 million miles (1.5 million km) away from Earth.
Video of the orbit available HERE.
More information about Lagrange points available HERE.

Want more details about the launch? Visit HERE.

Stay up-to-date with the latest Webb news HERE

Have more questions about Webb’s mission?
FAQs are HERE; Webb’s FactSheet is HERE.

Need resources in different languages? Look HERE.

NASA’s official Webb sites are: