NASA Invites Media to Webb Telescope Science Briefings

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  November 16, 2021 
NASA Invites Media to Webb Telescope Science Briefings
Image of starts and other celestial objects
How did the universe begin? Are we alone in the cosmos? The James Webb Space Telescope will help us answer scientifically significant questions about the early universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems, and the properties of planets within and outside our solar system.
Credits: NASA, ESA, and M. Davis (University of California, Berkeley)

NASA will hold two virtual media briefings Thursday, Nov. 18, on the science goals and capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Participants will preview how the world’s largest and most powerful space science telescope will build on the discoveries of other missions to answer fundamental questions about the universe and its origins. Participants will also discuss Webb’s four scientific instruments, designed to study a wide range of objects in space, from planets and stars to galaxies and dark energy.

The briefings will livestream on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. All times are provided in Eastern.

11 a.m. – Briefing on Webb’s science goals with the following participants:

  • Greg Robinson, Webb program director, NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • John Mather, Webb senior project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Antonella Nota, Webb project scientist and head of the ESA (European Space Agency) office at the Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Sarah Gallagher, science advisor to the president, Canadian Space Agency
  • Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Amber Straughn, Webb deputy project scientist for communications, Goddard

2 p.m. – Briefing on Webb’s science instruments with the following participants:

  • Eric Smith, Webb program scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Lee Feinberg, Webb optical telescope element manager, Goddard
  • Marcia Rieke, principal investigator for Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera, University of Arizona
  • Pierre Ferruit, principal investigator for Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph, ESA 
  • Gillian Wright, European principal investigator for Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument, U.K. Astronomy Technology Centre
  • René Doyon, principal investigator for Webb’s Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph and Fine Guidance Sensor, University of Montreal

To participate by telephone, media must RSVP no later than two hours before the start of each briefing to Alise Fisher at: alise.m.fisher@xxxxxxxx. Media and members of the public may also ask questions on social media using #NASAWebb.

NASA’s media accreditation policy for virtual and onsite activities is available online.

NASA’s Curious Universe podcast also will debut a special Webb mini-series Tuesday, Nov. 23, exploring the mission’s science, engineering, people, and launch. NASA will release episodes every Tuesday leading up to Webb’s Dec. 18 launch. The trailer is available online.

The Webb telescope, an international partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies, will explore every phase of cosmic history – from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between. Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries, and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

For more information about the Webb mission, visit:



Press Contacts

Alise Fisher / Natasha Pinol
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-2546 / 202-358-0930
alise.m.fisher@xxxxxxxx / natasha.r.pinol@xxxxxxxx

Laura Betz  
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


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