This is the James Webb Space Telescope at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, and the face of project scientist Mark Clampin is reflected in the flight mirrors. The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST is due to launch in 2014.
The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, ,infrared-optimized space telescope.
Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb’s instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range.
Webb will have a large mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade won’t fit onto the rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open once Webb is in outer space. Webb will reside in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth.