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The "James Webb" space telescope replaced the successful "Hubble" telescope as the leading observation instrument in space. Thanks to its 6.5m large primary mirror, the new observatory has a much higher sensitivity compared to "Hubble".
The spectral resolution of its instruments allows the analysis of the formation history up to the chemical composition of the observed celestial bodies. Now the launch is imminent.The space observatory has four scientific instruments on board. Two of the instruments, MIRI and NIRSpec, were developed and built in Europe.
HENSOLDT Optronics and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy Heidelberg (MPIA) made key contributions to both instruments with the cryomechanisms and spectrally splitting optics manufactured at HENSOLDT.HENSOLDT's optical filter and grating wheel mechanisms allow the instruments to be configured precisely and reliably for different types of observations.
MPIA was instrumental in their development and testing. For HENSOLDT Optronics and MPIA, the contribution to "James Webb" was a milestone in the successful collaboration in the development of increasingly powerful optical observing instruments.
The most important scientific goal of this mission is to study the "first light" that reaches us from the early universe and will allow conclusions to be drawn about the formation of the first stars, galaxies and planets in the universe. The observations will also provide insights into the formation of stars and planets in our Milky Way.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be positioned about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth and will orbit the Sun synchronously with Earth. This position in space allows particularly favourable conditions for high-resolution observation in the infrared wavelength range, which is crucial for this mission.