The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized
space telescope, scheduled for launch in 2013. 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.
JWST will have a large mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter
and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade won't
fit onto the rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open only once JWST
is in outer space. JWST will reside in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million
miles) from the Earth.
The James Webb Space Telescope was named after a former NASA