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The James Webb Space telescope: observatory status and preparations for launch (Conference Presentation)
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Paper Abstract

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a NASA flagship mission that will address multiple science themes including our Universe’s first light, the assembly of galaxies, the birth of stars and planetary systems, and planets and the origins of life. The JWST is a large (6.5 m) segmented aperture telescope equipped with near- and mid-infrared instruments (0.6-28 microns), all of which are passively cooled to ~40 K by a 5-layer sunshield while the mid-infrared instrument is actively cooled to 7 K. The JWST will be launched to an L2 orbit aboard a European Space Agency (ESA) supplied Ariane 5 rocket, whose payload volume constraints require that the JWST structure is stowed for launch. The JWST telescope recently completed its cryogenic test program and the sunshield has been fully integrated and deployed. JWST is currently in the final stages of the test program at the Observatory level. The current estimated JWST performance metrics will be presented, such as the image quality, pointing stability, sensitivity, and stray light backgrounds. The JWST development status and future plans will be described for the final testing, launch, and commissioning. JWST is an international project with contributions from NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is the prime contractor for the JWST, and the Space Telescope Science Institute will serve as the science operations center.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2018
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Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 1069802 (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313244
Show Author Affiliations
Michael W. McElwain, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Malcolm B. Niedner, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Charles W. Bowers, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Randy A. Kimble, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Erin C. Smith, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mark Clampin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10698:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Makenzie Lystrup; Howard A. MacEwen; Giovanni G. Fazio; Natalie Batalha; Nicholas Siegler; Edward C. Tong, Editor(s)

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