News and Highlights - Archive


01 Oct 2019 - ESA JWST Master Class Results

Following the selection of 20 European scientists for the ESA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Master Class, ESA is announcing the list and dates of the training workshops for the preparation of JWST cycle-1 proposals. The list can be found here A total of 15 workshops will be organised in different European locations to cover a wide geographical area, between mid-February and mid-April, offering ample opportunities to all community members to get training during the proposal preparation period.

04 June 2019 - The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) emerged successfully from final thermal vacuum test. The JWST has successfully cleared another critical testing milestone, taking it one step closer to its 2021 launch. The spacecraft has gone through its final thermal vacuum test meant to ensure that its hardware will function electronically in the vacuum of space, and withstand the extreme temperature variations it will encounter on its mission. The full text of NASA's press release from the 30th of May can be found here.

30 April 2019 - ESA JWST master class call - The call for applications to attend the European Space Agency (ESA) James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Master Class has just been released. The master class will provide dedicated JWST proposal training to selected researchers who are willing to then share their knowledge with scientists at their local/regional institutions. The full text of the call can be found here. Applications are due by 17:00 CEST on 3 June 2019.

28 June 2018 - Updates to the JWST Cycle 1 Proposal Timeline. Following the announcement of a new launch date by NASA (see below), STScI has published a short piece of news with information about the expected timeline for the call for proposals for cycle 1 (relative to launch). The full text can be found here.

27 June 2018 - NASA Completes Webb Telescope Review, Commits to Launch in Early 2021. The full text of the news release can be found here.

28 March 2018 - The JWST Cycle 1 GO/AR Proposal Deadline Has Been Delayed. Yesterday, JWST's scientific operation center STScI announced that the cycle-1 GO/AR proposal deadline was delayed to no earlier than the 1st of February 2019. For more details, please consult the web feature published by STScI (here).

27 March 2018 - James Webb Space Telescope Update: New Launch Window Under Review.

The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is currently undergoing final integration and test phases that will require more time to ensure a successful mission. After an independent assessment of remaining tasks for the highly complex space observatory, the previously revised 2019 launch window now is targeted for approximately May 2020. For more information, please consult the ESA portal article (here) or the NASA press release (here).

22 March 2018 - The European Week of Astronomy and Space Science meeting (EWASS 2018) is approaching. It will include several events directly related to JWST. The symposium "Early Science with JWST" (S1) and a special session "Exploring the high-redshift Universe in advance of JWST" (SS10). JWST will also be present on the ESA booth. We hope to see you there.

22 March 2018 - The presentations from the JWST IAC workshop "GO1 Proposal Planning" that was held on March 12-13 are now available. They can be retrieved here.

01 December 2017 - JWST Cycle 1 call for proposals for general observer (GO) time has been released.

Up to 6,000 hours of JWST time will be available in cycle 1 for this call. Observing programs will be offered in multiple categories, determined by program size and other criteria. Details on the call can be found here. The proposal submission deadline has been set to Friday 6 April  2018, at 8pm US Eastern Time.

14 November 2017 - Register and submit your abstracts for the symposium "Early Science with JWST" at the EWASS 2018 in Liverpool in April 2018. The deadline for submitting the abstracts is the 27th of November 2017.

The web site of EWASS 2018 can be found here and the page dedicated to the symposium "Early Science with JWST" (S1) is now available here.

14 November 2017 - The list of the proposals selected for JWST's Director's Discretionary time Early Release Science (ERS) program has been published.

The list can be found here. You can also read the pieces of news published by STScI and NASA (here) and ESA (here).

30 October 2017 - The James Webb Space Telescope Early Release Observation Committee welcomes suggestions from the astronomical community for early targets to showcase the observatory’s capabilities.

The JWST Early Release Observations (ERO) will be among the first images and spectra taken during the commissioning of the observatory as it gets ready for scientific observations. They will showcase JWST’s instruments and scientific capabilities. A copy of the e-mail from the ERO committee welcoming suggestions of ERO from the astronomical community can be found here.

29 September 2017 - The James Webb Space Telescope to be Launched in Spring 2019.

The James Webb Space Telescope is now planning to launch between March and June 2019 from French Guiana, following a schedule assessment of the remaining integration and test activities.

The press release from NASA announcing the new launch period can be found here.

19 September 2017 - Planning Solar System observations with JWST. Two workshops before the end of 2017 (US and Europe).

In the last two months of 2017, twin workshops dedicated to planning Solar System observations with JWST will take place.

The first one is scheduled for 13-15 November 2017 and will take place at STScI. Its web site can be accessed through the following link. The registration deadline is set to the 30th of September 2017 and attendance is limited to 70.

The second workshop is scheduled for 13-15 December 2017 and will take place at the ESA/ESTEC center in the Netherlands. Its web site can be accessed through the following link. The registration deadline is set to the 1st of November 2017 and attendance is limited to 60.

22 June 2017 - The names of the members of JWST users committee (JSTUC) have been released.

The committee includes 2 European scientists and representatives for the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments. The full list of members is available on the JSTUC page hosted by STScI together with more information on the role of the committee -> JSTUC page

15 June 2017 - The contents of the JWST Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) contents for cycle 1 have been published.

NASA and STScI have just published brief descriptions of the various JWST GTO programs together with the associated target lists.

Press release NASA

STScI page containing the specifications of the GTO programs

NIRSpec GTO web site

08 May 2017 JWST's payload module (OTIS) arrives at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

After an extensive and very succesful period of integration and testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, JWST's payload module (the telescope and its instruments) called OTIS has been shipped to the Johnson Space Center where it will have its final thermal vacuum testing. Detailed information can be found in the following press release issued by NASA:

30 January 2017 Vibration testing on the James Webb Space Telescope successfully resumed last week.

The vibration testing on the telescope and instruments of JWST successfully resumed last week at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland. Detailed information can be found in the following press release issued by NASA:

05/01/2017 Vibration testing of James Webb telescope and instruments set to resume in January.

The vibration testing of the James Webb telescope and instrument assembly (called OTIS) was put on hold in December 2016 after an unexpected response to the vibrations was detected. The investigation of the event is still on-going but the plan is now to resume testing in January. More information can be found on NASA's JWST web site at the following link:

07/06/2016 JWST's payload module successfully installed

On the 24th of May 2016, JWST's payload module, called ISIM, was installed on the back of the telescope. In preparation for this installation, the telescope was oriented face down in the large clean room at the Goddard Space Flight Center. During the installation, NASA photograph Chris Gunn captured a spectacular view of ISIM hanging above the telescope.

30/04/2016 A rare view of the gold-coated surface of JWST's primary mirror

As part of the preparation for the installation of the payload module on the back of the telescope, the protective covers of the 18 primary mirror segments have been removed, providing us with a rare and spectacular view of the gold-coated surface of JWST's primary mirror.

15/02/2016 Integrated Science Instrument Module successfully completes 3-month long cryogenic test

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM), or the "heart" of the James Webb Space Telescope, has completed a three-month long cryogenic test  that took place in Goddard's massive thermal vacuum chamber. The door of the chamber has just been opened!

2/11/2015 Presentations from the recent JWST conference

The 49th ESLAB Symposium EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE WITH JWST was held at ESA/ESTEC on 12-16 October. Presentations and posters PDFs are available here.