NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: Hubble’s Cosmic Successor

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JSWT) is an infrared space observatory that is scheduled to launch on Dec 25, 2021, from ESA’s launch site at Kourou in French Guiana on board an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket. 

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope — NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope — will probe the cosmos to uncover the history of the universe from the Big Bang to alien planet formation and beyond. It is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, huge space instruments that include the likes of the Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into the cosmos. 

James Webb Space Telescope: Key facts

Launch date: Dec. 25, 2021.

Cost (at time of launch): $10 billion.

Orbit: JWST will orbit the sun, around the second Lagrange point (L2), 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth. 

Primary mirror size: 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) across.

Sunshield: 69.5 ft by 46.5 ft (22 meters x 12 meters).

Mass: 14,300 lbs (6,500 kg).

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