JWST – Technical Details

Customer: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5


Near-Infrared Camera: University of Arizona

Near-Infrared Spectrograph: European Space Agency (ESA)

Mid-Infrared Instrument: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), ESA

Fine Guidance Sensor with Tunable Filter Module: Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

Technical Characteristics

Mission Lifetime 5 years (10-year goal)
Orbit L2 (the Second Sun-Earth Lagrange Point), 1,500,000 km from Earth
Sunshield Dimensions Approximately 22 meters x 12 meters
Primary Mirror 6.5 meter diameter aperture
Wavelength Coverage 0.6 to > 27 microns
Diffraction Limit 2.0 microns
One-year Sky Coverage 100%
Telescope Operating Temperature ~45 Kelvin (-380˚F)
Payload Mass Approximately 6,500 kg
Science First light, assembly of galaxies, birth of stars, planetary systems and the origin of life
Technology Sunshield 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

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