The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope, scheduled for launch in 2014. JWST will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. JWST will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. JWST's instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range.
The James Webb Space Telescope will have a unique and profound role in transforming our understanding of astrophysics and the origins of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems. In order to carry out its mission, several innovative and powerful new technologies ranging from optics to detectors to thermal control systems are being developed.