Mark Clampin plenary: James Webb Space Telescope: The Road to First Science Observations

A plenary talk from SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014

11 July 2014

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture, infrared telescope planned for launch in 2018. This facility observatory will address a broad range of science goals covering four major themes: First light and Re-Ionization; the Assembly of Galaxies; the Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems; and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

JWST embodies several major technical challenges. With a 6.5 meter diameter mirror it will be the largest space telescope ever flown. It is the first cryogenic telescope to incorporate passive cooling, achieved by means of a large sunshade, to reach its ~40 K operating temperature. Due to the size of the observatory, it must be stowed for launch, and then deployed to its operational configuration on its way to an orbit around the second Lagrange point.

JWST is well on its way from drawing board to sky. Much of the flight hardware is already built and tested at the sub-system level. This plenary session focuses on the remaining tasks on the road to JWST's first science observations on the sky.

Mark Clampin is currently the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory Project Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He also advises the Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS)/Cosmic Origins (COR) Program Offices as Chief Technologist. He is a Fellow of SPIE and Editor-in-Chief of SPIE's new Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments and Systems.

Clampin was ACS Group manager at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), where he supported three Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing missions. He is a Co-Investigator on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), and the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) science team where he served as the Detector Scientist.

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