Thursday, February 17, 2022

The UK in the James Webb Space Telescope | UK Space Agency

The UK in the James Webb Space Telescope | UK Space Agency

The James Webb Space Telescope will change the way we see the Universe, and the United Kingdom (UK) is playing a lead role in that mission.

A collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency, Webb is the successor to the legendary Hubble Space Telescope and will look back further in time than any other telescope—to just 400 million years after the Big Bang.

Onboard Webb are four main scientific instruments, and the UK is leading on one of them, the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). The UK provided the scientific leadership and instrument design for MIRI, and managed the overall project. The UK was also responsible for the overall construction of the instrument and the quality control to ensure that MIRI would operate as intended and cope with the harsh conditions of space.

MIRI was built for ESA by a European Consortium of 10 countries, led by Principal Investigator Professor Gillian Wright at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre, who you can hear from in this video.

The UK has invested almost £20 million in the development phase of MIRI. Alongside the UK Space Agency, institutions include the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Airbus Defence & Space UK, University of Leicester and University of Cardiff.

Learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST):

The UK Space Agency:

Credit: UK Space Agency

Duration: 3 minutes, 29 seconds

Release Date: December 17, 2021

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