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Gardner_2023_PASP_135_068001.pdf (1.85 MB)

The James Webb Space Telescope Mission

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-21, 09:13 authored by JP Gardner, JC Mather, R Abbott, JS Abell, M Abernathy, FE Abney, JG Abraham, R Abraham, YM Abul-Huda, S Acton, CK Adams, E Adams, DS Adler, M Adriaensen, JA Aguilar, M Ahmed, NS Ahmed, T Ahmed, R Albat, L Albert, S Alberts, D Aldridge, MM Allen, SS Allen, M Altenburg, S Altunc, JL Alvarez, J Álvarez-Márquez, CA de Oliveira, LL Ambrose, SM Anandakrishnan, GC Andersen, HJ Anderson, J Anderson, K Anderson, SM Anderson, J Aprea, BJ Archer, JW Arenberg, I Argyriou, S Arribas, É Artigau, AR Arvai, P Atcheson, CB Atkinson, J Averbukh, C Aymergen, JJ Bacinski, WE Baggett, G Bagnasco, LL Baker, VA Balzano, KA Banks, DA Baran, EA Barker, LK Barrett, BO Barringer, A Barto, W Bast, P Baudoz, S Baum, TG Beatty, M Beaulieu, K Bechtold, T Beck, MM Beddard, C Beichman, L Bellagama, P Bely, TW Berger, LE Bergeron, AD Bernier, MD Bertch, C Beskow, LE Betz, CP Biagetti, S Birkmann, KF Bjorklund, JD Blackwood, RP Blazek, S Blossfeld, M Bluth, A Boccaletti, ME Boegner, RC Bohlin, JJ Boia, T Böker, N Bonaventura, NA Bond, KA Bosley, RA Boucarut, P Bouchet, J Bouwman, G Bower, AS Bowers, CW Bowers, LA Boyce, CT Boyer, ML Boyer, M Boyer, et al.
Twenty-six years ago a small committee report, building on earlier studies, expounded a compelling and poetic vision for the future of astronomy, calling for an infrared-optimized space telescope with an aperture of at least 4 m. With the support of their governments in the US, Europe, and Canada, 20,000 people realized that vision as the 6.5 m James Webb Space Telescope. A generation of astronomers will celebrate their accomplishments for the life of the mission, potentially as long as 20 yr, and beyond. This report and the scientific discoveries that follow are extended thank-you notes to the 20,000 team members. The telescope is working perfectly, with much better image quality than expected. In this and accompanying papers, we give a brief history, describe the observatory, outline its objectives and current observing program, and discuss the inventions and people who made it possible. We cite detailed reports on the design and the measured performance on orbit.


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School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester


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