The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) leads an international partnership that includes the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is managing the Webb Telescope project, and the Space Telescope Science Institute is responsible for science and mission operations, as well as ground station development.
In 2002, NASA selected Northrop Grumman as prime contractor to develop the James Webb Space Telescope. Northrop Grumman will design and build the deployable sunshield, provide the spacecraft and integrate the total system.
The observatory subsystems are developed by a Northrop Grumman-led team with vast experience in developing space-based observatories:
- Ball Aerospace provides the telescope's optical design and mirrors, and the wavefront sensing and control design and algorithms.
- Harris Corporation integrates and tests the optical telescope.