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James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope is an infrared observatory, scheduled for launch in 2018. The JWST, which is a joint collaboration between ESA, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will consist of a passively cooled 6.55m aperture telescope, a suite of infrared cameras and a range of other astronomical instruments.

JWST will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. JWST will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. JWST’s instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. STFC, and now the UK Space Agency has supported the construction of the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) for the mission and the UK community has a leading role in the associated science. 
Support for the operation of JWST is funded by the UK Space Agency (UKSA), which is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  UKSA works with STFC which funds researchers to exploit the scientific data yielded by the observatory.

UK Involvement

EADS Astrium

STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

University College London

University of Leicester

Last updated: 08 June 2017


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