Behind the Webb Podcast

  • Thumb_009_video_still

    Episode 9: Not So Heavy Metal

    Webb's perfectly polished, highly reflective mirrors start their life as a pile of rubble, mined from a desert in Utah. Join "Behind the Webb" as we explore a beryllium mining operation.

  • Thumb_008_video_still

    Episode 8: Stretching Webb's Wings

    Webb's protective sunshield will be folded up inside the rocket that carries it into orbit. Engineers explain the process of unfurling the sunshield from a million miles away.

  • Thumb_007_video_still

    Episode 7: Got Your Back

    Webb's mirror, made of 18 individual segments, will be folded up inside the rocket that carries the telescope into orbit. Engineers are constructing the frame at the back of the mirror that will adjust Webb's segments to achieve a single perfect focus.

  • Thumb_006_video_still

    Episode 6: Troubleshooting Webb

    At Northrop Grumman, engineers are testing the systems that will control Webb from the ground. Because Webb will orbit 940,000 miles (1.5 million km) from Earth, it's vital to ensure perfect long-distance control.

  • Thumb_005_video_still

    Episode 5: Webb at the World Science Festival

    Visitors to the World Science Festival in New York City were greeted by a startling sight: the Webb Space Telescope. The life-sized model of the telescope gave viewers a glimpse at the next big leap for orbiting observatories.

  • Thumb_004_video_still

    Episode 4: Reflecting on Webb's Mirrors

    Webb is a reflecting telescope, which means it relies on mirrors to capture the light it uses to make images. At Tinsley Laboratories in California, Webb's multiple mirrors are taking shape and being tested.

  • Thumb_003_video_still

    Episode 3: The Big Chill

    The Webb Telescope's huge primary mirror is made up of 18 smaller mirrors. At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., environmental and thermal testing of these mirrors is preparing them for the hazards of space.

  • Thumb_002_video_still

    Episode 2: Jack of All Sunshields

    Because Webb sees infrared light, it must be kept extraordinarily cold. Perhaps the most important component for that task is Webb's huge sunshield, which protects the telescope from the Sun's energy.

  • Thumb_001_video_still

    Episode 1: Uncovering MIRI's Detectors

    Webb's "detectors" convert images into a digital signal that can be beamed to Earth. Join us at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Calif., where these vital pieces are undergoing testing.