​The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a planned space observatory optimized for observations in the infrared which will use a 6.5 meter primary mirror. This scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope is scheduled to launch in October of 2018.

The JWST will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

It has three elements:

  1. Optical Telescope Element
  2. Spacecraft Element
  3. Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM)
The ISIM is the science payload located behind the primary mirror and is comprised of four science instruments:
  1. Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCAM)
  2. Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec)
  3. Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI)
  4. Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) / Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)
Teledyne Imaging Sensors supplies the sensor chip arrays (SCAs) for NIRCAM, NIRSpec and FGS/NIRISS.

This mission is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).