Media Invited to Virtual Briefing as NASA’s Webb Prepares for Launch

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Media will have the opportunity to see the iconic golden mirror of NASA’s James…

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Media will have the opportunity to see the iconic golden mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope open for the last time on Earth during a virtual briefing Tuesday, May 11, at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT). Officials from NASA and Northrop Grumman will discuss the significance of the mirror’s deployment and next steps for the mission as it prepares for launch, which is targeted for Oct. 31. The event will air live via the following link:

The world’s largest and most powerful space telescope, Webb opened its iconic primary mirror wings in May as part of the telescope’s final testing regimen at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California. The conclusion of this test represents an important milestone as Webb marches toward launch.

Briefing participants include:

  • Greg Robinson, James Webb Space Telescope program director, NASA Headquarters
  • Bill Ochs, James Webb Space Telescope project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, Northrop Grumman
  • Begoña Vila, instrument systems engineer, Goddard
  • Eric Smith, James Webb Space Telescope program scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Klaus Pontoppidan, project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute

This event is open to U.S. and international media. Media who would like to ask questions via Zoom during the event must provide their name and affiliation by 1 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. PDT) Monday, May 10, to Laura Betz at to receive the Zoom link. Those following the briefing on social media may ask questions using #NASAWebb.

Once it launches and is operational, Webb will be the world’s premier space science observatory, helping solve mysteries in our solar system, looking to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

To learn more about NASA’s Webb telescope, visit:

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