The first fully formed pictures are set for release on July 12.
NASA releases James Webb telescope ‘teaser’ picture. NASA has a provided a tantalizing teaser photo ahead of the highly-anticipated release next week of the first deep-space images from the James Webb Telescope — an instrument so powerful it can peer back into the origins of the universe.
The $10 billion observatory — launched in December last year and now orbiting the Sun a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth — can look where no telescope has looked before thanks to its enormous primary mirror and instruments that focus on infrared, allowing it to peer through dust and gas.
The first fully formed pictures are set for release on July 12, but NASA provided an engineering test photo on Wednesday — the result of 72 exposures over 32 hours that shows a set of distant stars and galaxies.
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The image has some “rough-around-the-edges” qualities, NASA said in a statement, but is still “among the deepest images of the universe ever taken” and offers a “tantalizing glimpse” at what will be revealed in the coming weeks, months, and years.
“When this image was taken, I was thrilled to clearly see all the detailed structure in these faint galaxies,” said Neil Rowlands, program scientist for Webb s Fine Guidance Sensor at Honeywell Aerospace.
NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), to give the US space development effort a distinctly civilian orientation, emphasizing peaceful applications in space science.
Since its establishment, most American space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle.
NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System, Commercial Crew vehicles, and the planned Lunar Gateway space station.
The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program, which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for uncrewed NASA launches.