Technical Details for the James Webb Space Telescope

Technical Details for the James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope will peer into the past to unlock the mysteries of our universe. Learn more about the technical details of this ambitious mission.

Customer: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5

Instruments:



Technical Details

Mission Lifetime5 years (10-year goal)
OrbitL2 (the Second Sun-Earth Lagrange Point), 1,500,000 km from Earth
Sunshield DimensionsApproximately 22 meters x 12 meters
Primary Mirror6.5 meter diameter aperture
Wavelength Coverage0.6 to > 27 microns
Diffraction Limit2.0 microns
One-Year Sky Coverage100%
Telescope Operating Temperature~45 Kelvin (-380˚F)
Payload MassApproximately 6,500 kg
ScienceFirst light, assembly of galaxies, birth of stars, planetary systems and the origin of life
TechnologySunshield membrane material, near-infrared and mid-infrared detectors, lightweight cryogenic mirrors, microshutter arrays, cryogenic detector readout application-specific integrated circuits, cryogenic heat switches, wavefront sensing and control, large precision cryogenic structure, and the MIRI cryocooler

Related Technical Links

Links to additional technical details on the James Webb Space Telescope

NASA logo

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center logo

Goddard Space Flight Center

STScI - The Space Telescope Science Institute logo

STScI – The Space Telescope Science Institute

JWST for Scientists