About the Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier infrared space observatory of the next decade. Orbiting far beyond Earth’s moon, Webb’s sensitive instruments will detect infrared radiation from Solar System planets, exoplanets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies. These observations will help us to better understand the early universe, how galaxies and stars change over time, and the characteristics of other worlds


Infographic for The James Webb Space Telescope
James Webb Space Telescope wavelength range, mirror size, and location specs. CREDIT: NASA, E. Wheatley (STScI). GET THE FULL IMAGE IN RESOURCE GALLERY >



Global Partners

Webb has been an international collaboration since the beginning. In addition to the United States, 13 countries are involved in building the Webb telescope: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Additional member states in Europe also contribute to the European Space Agency (ESA). NASA is the lead partner on the project, working in conjunction with ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

As the lead agency, NASA has overall responsibility for the Webb mission.  ESA’s contributions to JWST include the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) Optics Assembly, and the Ariane 5 Launch Vehicle. CSA’s contributions to Webb include the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS).

About the Space Telescope Science Institute

The mission of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is to help humanity explore the universe with advanced space telescopes and ever-growing data archives. STScI is a multi-mission science operations center for NASA’s flagship observatories and a world-class astronomical research center.

Established in 1981, the institute has developed and executed the science and mission operations for the Hubble Space Telescope since its launch in 1990 and will conduct the science and mission operations for the James Webb Space Telescope. The institute will also be the science operations center for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), launching in the mid-2020s.

The institute also supports other astronomy programs and its science staff conducts world-class scientific research. STScI is the home of the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), where the data of over 20 astronomical missions is curated and disseminated for use by the global astronomy community. The institute brings astrophysics to the public through internationally recognized news, education, and public outreach programs.

The institute is located on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA.

Muller Building
The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, is home to the science programs of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the data archives of other NASA missions. CREDIT: Zoltan G. Levay


About Communications and Outreach

Public outreach is at the heart of STScI’s mission. The communications and outreach team finds innovative ways to share complex scientific discoveries with the public. An interdisciplinary group of communications professionals and scientists works together to prepare and disseminate news items, as well as posters, exhibits, and other informal education products in print and electronic formats. 

WebbTelescope.org is produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach (OPO).