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Building the James Webb Space Telescope: Hubble's Successor (Gallery)

NASA's Next Big Space Telescope Passes Brain Test

NASA/Northrop Grumman/Ball Aerospace

Through a process called "Wavefront Sensing and Control," or WFSC, software aboard the James Webb Space Telescope will compute the best position for each of 18 mirrors and one secondary mirror, and then adjust the positions. Engineers used a 1/6 scale model to test the WFSC software.

"GO GIRL SCOUTS" Engraved on NIRCam

NIRCam Team, University of Arizona

NIRCam’s flight modules are now fully assembled and engraved permanently with "Go Girl Scouts" to honor our close partners in STEM education. Girl Scouts along with NIRCam's scientists, educators, and engineers are going together into space to benefit life on Earth. Photo taken on November 2, 2007

James Webb Space Telescope's Instrument Suite

NASA

The James Webb Space Telescope's instrument suite being lowered into the cryogenic chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

James Webb Space Telescope's Mirrors

NASA/Chris Gunn

A rare view shows all 18 mirrors installed on the James Webb Space Telescope structure at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Assembled

NASA/Chris Gunn the 18 mirrors for the Webb Telescope In this rare view, the James Webb Space Telescope's 18 mirrors are seen fully installed on the James Webb Space Telescope structure at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Credits

In a clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a robotic arm installs the last of 18 mirrors onto the James Webb Space Telescope structure.

James Webb Space Telescope test

Chris Gunn/NASA

Engineers conduct a "Center of Curvature" test on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

James Webb Telescope Curvature Test

NASA/Chris Gunn

The James Webb Space Telescope is completed and entering a two-year testing phase, NASA officials announced Nov. 2; it is on schedule to launch in October 2018. Here, technicians complete a center of curvature test at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

James Webb Space Telescope Mirror

NASA/Chris Gunn

The golden mirrors of NASA's Names Webb Space Telescope are seen in this image inside the clean room at the space agency's Goddard Space Flight Center. The space telescope is undergoing testing ahead of its 2018 launch.

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