The James Webb Space Telescope Is About To Launch : Short Wave Soon the highly anticipated James Webb Space Telescope will blast off into space, hurtling almost a million miles away from Earth, where it will orbit the Sun. Decades in the making, scientists hope its mission will last a decade and provide insights into all kinds of things, including the early formation of galaxies just after the Big Bang.

Curious about the extraterrestrial facets of our universe? Email the show your questions at shortwave@npr.org. We might be able to beg Nell to find answers and come back on the show.

The James Webb Space Telescope Is About To Launch

The James Webb Space Telescope Is About To Launch

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NASA engineer Ernie Wright observes the first 6 flight ready primary mirror segments on the James Webb Space Telescope. The primary mirror is made up of 18 of these hexagonal-shaped mirror segments. NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham hide caption

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NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

NASA engineer Ernie Wright observes the first 6 flight ready primary mirror segments on the James Webb Space Telescope. The primary mirror is made up of 18 of these hexagonal-shaped mirror segments.

NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

Soon the highly anticipated James Webb Space Telescope will blast off into space, hurtling almost a million miles away from Earth, where it will orbit the Sun. Decades in the making, scientists hope its mission will last a decade and provide insights into all kinds of things, including the early formation of galaxies just after the Big Bang.

Curious about the extraterrestrial facets of our universe? E-mail the show your questions at shortwave@npr.org. We might be able to beg Nell to find answers and come back on the show.

This episode was edited by Gisele Grayson, produced by Rebecca Ramirez and fact-checked by Rasha Aridi.