Chairs Johnson and Beyer Celebrate James Webb Space Telescope Reaching Orbit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2022
(Washington, DC) — Today, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) successfully reached its final destination at the second Lagrange point (L2). Over the next five months of commissioning, JWST will align its optics and calibrate its scientific instruments before the telescope begins collecting data. The main goals of Webb’s mission include searching for the first galaxies formed in the universe, observing the formation of stars, building our understanding of the evolution of galaxies, and measuring physical and chemical properties of planetary systems. JWST is an international collaboration among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
“Arriving at this million-mile mark is the climax of an incredible journey for the James Webb Space Telescope,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “The last ’29 days on edge’ have been full of remarkable achievements by the entire JWST team. To reach this point, nearly one million miles away, Webb successfully completed 50 major deployments with over 300 single point failure items that had the potential to jeopardize the mission. The historic unfolding of the observatory into its final configuration is an unparalleled scientific and technological accomplishment. Congratulations to NASA and its international and contractor partners on bringing Webb one step closer to transforming our understanding of the universe. I will continue to follow the mission in the months ahead and I look forward to the observatory’s first images and future science operations.”
“The James Webb Space Telescope’s successful entry into L2 orbit completes a remarkable journey of many years and nearly one million miles, from conception to construction to completion. Now the mission stands on the precipice of achieving incredible scientific discoveries,” said Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA) of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. “I have been closely following this journey from the start, and eagerly await the revelations JWST will deliver once final tests are completed and the telescope is fully deployed. Congratulations to NASA, the JWST Team, our international partners, and Northrop Grumman for this incredible accomplishment.”