First instrument for the JWST is completed and handed over to NASA
After more than 10 years of work by more than 200 engineers, the Mid InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) has been declared ready for delivery by the European Space Agency and NASA. MIRI, an instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a pioneering camera and spectrometer, so sensitive it could see a candle on one of Jupiter's moons. It will now be shipped to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center where it will be integrated with the other three instruments and the telescope. The handover ceremony in London today is the culmination of a long term collaboration effort from teams in two continents and 11 countries, among them Sweden.
MIRI is the first of the four instruments on board the JWST to be completed. The handover was made at a ceremony between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA at the Institute of Engineering and Technology in London today.
Eventually it will take up position four times further away from the Earth than the Moon. MIRI will allow astronomers to explore the formation of planets around distant stars and could even pave the way for investigations into the habitability of other planetary systems.
As part of the international MIRI collaboration, astronomers at Stockholm University and Chalmers have delivered filters and dichroics to MIRI, and carried out software testing for the instrument. Thanks to these efforts, astronomers in Sweden will be among the first make observations with the James Webb Space Telescope.– Handing over to NASA is an important milestone for us who have worked with MIRI. We're proud and happy and are looking forward to exploring the universe with the telescope, said Kay Justtanont, astronomer at Chalmers who has led the Swedish involvement in MIRI.
Read the complete press release, with images and movies, here on ESA's web site.
Contacts for Sweden:
Kay Justtanont, astronomer and leader for the Swedish MIRI-team
Last modified: May 09, 2012
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