Big year ahead for James Webb telescope

“Up to this point, for as long as we’ve been working on Webb, you’ve only ever really seen a cartoon of the telescope. Towards the end of this year, you will actually be able to see the James Webb Space Telescope realised in hardware.”It’s been a long time coming but we are now at the business end of building Hubble’s successor.

The spectacular new observatory that has been designed to find the “first light” to shine in the Universe is getting real.And Eric Smith, the programme director and programme scientist on this $10bn venture, is understandably quite excited by what is about to unfold in the next few months.Whereas in the past, the talk has all been about the development and manufacture of individual components, such as Webb’s instruments or its beryllium and gold mirrors – these have all now been produced (bar one or two items).

The time has come to put everything together in preparation for the big launch into orbit on an Ariane rocket in 2018. Source: Big year ahead for James Webb telescope

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