Quirks & Quarks

World's Biggest Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the biggest and best of its kind when it launches in 2018
James Webb Space Telescope - Artist's impression (Northrop Grumman/NASA)
If all goes well, 2018 will see NASA launch its most ambitious eye on, and in, the sky. The James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, will be the successor to the venerable and accomplished Hubble Space Telescope, but will be bigger and better in almost every way. Its light-collecting mirror will be twice the diameter of the HST's, allowing it to see farther and clearer. Because it's optimized to the infrared, it will also be able to see deeper into galaxies than Hubble could. It's a tremendously ambitious and difficult mission, but has been plagued by delays and cost increases. Toronto science writer Dan Falk recently visited the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where the JWST is being assembled, tested and prepared for its launch - and prepared this look at the project.

He spoke with 2 of the scientists involved in the assembly of JWST, Dr. Mark Clampin, Observatory Project Scientist for the telescope and Ray Lundquist, a lead engineer for the project.

Related Links

​- NASA - Explore JWST
- Space Telescope Science Institute - JWST 
- European Space Agency -
Canadian instruments on the JWST