JWST Current Status
On July 10, 2008, NASA formally approved the JWST project to move into its
implementation phase. This decision followed a successful Preliminary Design
Review (PDR) in March 2008 and a Non-Advocate Review in April. While all the
science instruments and the "long lead" items like the primary mirror segments
are already being manufactured, this approval marks the transition of the
program into "Phase C" (Final Design and Fabrication). Phase D covers system
assembly, integration and testing and launch. Since portions of this work occur
while other subsystems are still in fabrication, NASA aficionados refer to this
entire period as Phase C/D. Operations (Phase E: the fun part!) begins after
instrument checkout and the cruise to L2.
The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is being built by a team led by the University of Arizona,
Tucson, with Lead Investigator Dr. Marcia Rieke. The industrial partner is Lockheed-Martin.
The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is being built by the European Space Agency with
Lead Investigator Dr. Peter Jackobsen.
The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is a 50/50 collaboration between NASA and individual
European nation states, managed by ESA. The US portion of the science team constructing MIRI
is led by Dr. George Rieke, University of Arizona, the European team is led by Gillian Wright,
UKATC. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the US lead implementing center for MIRI.
The JWST Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and Tunable Filter Imager (TFI) are being developed
under the management of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The Canadian prime contractor is COM
DEV (Ottawa & Cambridge). They work with the CSA and its science advisors led by the Herzberg
Institute of Astrophysics (Project Scientist John Hutchings) and the Université de Montréal (TFI PI
The four instruments and the FGS use advanced
for JWST. Teledyn (formerly Rockwell Scientific) is producing near-infrared HgCdTe detectors
for NIRCam and the FGS. Raytheon is developing mid-infrared Si:As detectors for MIRI under the
oversight of the Ames Research Center.
The members of the JWST
Science Working Group (SWG) are listed at the
SWG pages. The SWG
provides guidance on the science goals and capabilities of JWST.