LAUNCH

What You Need to Know: Webb's Launch

What you need to know!

  • Follow Webb's Story: Blog | Twitter | News | Images | Video
  • Podcast: NASA's Curious Universe - Join us for a James Webb Space Telescope podcast mini-series as we explore the science, engineering, people, and launch of this historic mission through audio storytelling.
  • #UnfoldTheUniverse Art Challenge - Get inspired and show us what you think Webb will discover in our new art challenge. Post your art and tag us with #UnfoldTheUniverse.
  • Webb STEAM Day - You are invited to NASA’s Webb Space Telescope STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) Day virtual interactive event. Registration is FREE and open to the public! The program will feature presentations from Sept. 30 2021 through June 2022. Enjoy!
  • Virtual Launch Packet ONLINE - Concise "Need To Know" information on the mission, watching and following the launch and more (download: 37MB pdf).
  • Webb Fact Sheet (download: 2.5MB pdf)- brief descriptions and facts about the mission and spacecraft.
  • Webb Media Kit (download: 27MB pdf) - targeted for media, with links to mission resources and contacts, also contains a more detailed overview of the mission, launch, and spacecraft.
  • Webb Blog A frequently updated blog about all things Webb as we move toward launch and through commissioning. We will add posts weekly, every Thursday afternoon.
  • Media: For Interview Requests - Please fill out this form to request an interview with one of our experts.
  • EXPLORE Webb's Deployments - Webb is the largest telescope ever launched into space. In the ~2 weeks after launch, Webb will unfold from its compact launch configuration into its operational configuration which is nearly the size of a tennis court. You can explore the process of deployment on this page interactively.
  • WHERE IS WEBB? is data-driven infographic that shows the status of Webb on its journey to L2 orbit. The page constantly updates as Webb travels, deploys, and cools to operating temperature. The page comes alive a few minutes after LIFTOFF (it is inactive until that point) and starts tracking distance at about 28 minutes after liftoff once Webb separates from the launch vehicle. It will actively track Webb's travel for a month after launch and track the cooling process until Webb reaches operational temperature.

Now Through Launch : December 25, 2021 07:20am EST ( 2021-12-25 12:20 GMT/UTC)

Launch Day : December 25, 2021 07:20am EST ( 2021-12-25 12:20 GMT/UTC)

After Launch

  • Read the Latest WEBB News
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  • Resources

    • Webb Fact Sheet (download: 2.5MB pdf) Brief facts about the mission and spacecraft.
    • Webb Media Kit (download: 27MB pdf) A more detailed look at the mission and spacecraft.
    • Webb Blog A frequently updated blog about all things Webb as we move toward launch and through commissioning. We will add posts weekly, every Thursday afternoon.
    • PowerPoint Deck - Infrared Eyes on the Universe ( English | Espanol ) Introducing the Science and Engineering of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.
    • Webb FAQs We've answered just about every question that's ever been asked. In our FAQs section you can drill down through our basic and detailed FAQs and Q&A sessions.
    • For Press : Contacts, Links, Images
    • News : News Features / Twitter Feed / News Archives
    • Webb Video and Animation Gallery from the the GSFC Visualization Studio.
    • Image Gallery List : our extensive collection of images of the development, build and launch of Webb Telescope and (and much more) on Flickr
    • Video : our extensive collection of Webb Telescope Youtube videos on our Youtube Channel
    • NASA TV
    • NASA.gov/live
    • Webb Quick Facts
    • Launch Date: December 25, 2021 07:20am EST ( 2021-12-25 12:20 GMT/UTC)
    • Deployment period: ~2 weeks after launch. Webb will unfold from its launch configuration into its operational configuration. See: Deployment Explorer
    • Orbit: Webb's launch trajectory sets it up into a halo orbit around the second Lagrange point (l2). It is an approximately million mile journey, takes ~1 month.
    • Commissioning: ~6 month period post-launch. Webb will cool down to cryogenic operating temperatures, and calibrate its mirrors and instruments.
    • First Images: Our first images will be released after the commissioning period. Routine science operations will begin after commissioning as well. Read about the first year of Webb observations [choose best cycle 1/ERS/ERO links]