The James Webb Space Telescope, also called JWST, is a space telescope operating mainly in the infrared, developed by NASA with the participation of Canadian and European space agencies. Despite its large mirror (6.5 m against 2.4 m for Hubble), its mass of 6200 kg is twice as low. With a final cost of around ten billion dollars, its launch took place from Kourou by the Ariane rocket on December 25, 2021.
While Hubble evolves in low orbit at an altitude of 590 km, Webb is placed in heliocentric orbit, therefore around the Sun, at the second Lagrange point of the Earth, on the side opposite the Sun at 1.5 million km. And unlike Edwin Hubble (1889-1953), an observer specializing in the study of galaxies during the 1920s, James Edwin Webb (1906-1992) was NASA’s second administrator. Political end more than scientist, named in 1961 by Kennedy, he played until the end of the mandate of Lyndon Johnson in 1968 a leading role in the success of the Apollo program.
Long in the shadow of the highly publicized Von Braun, a German engineer picked up by the Americans at the end of the Second World War and consecrated by the design of the Saturn V rocket of unparalleled power up to the new SLS launcher in progress installation for the first Artemis mission scheduled for the end of August, he in turn knows the light thanks to this telescope to which NASA has given its name.