ESA awards prime contract for instrument on board JWST
6 August 2004Following a competitive definition study, ESA has awarded EADS Astrium GmbH with the contract to build the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument on board the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
NIRSpec is one of the three main instruments on board JWST, a collaborative project between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Although radically different in design, JWST is considered as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). With its sophisticated instrumentation, a substantial part of which is provided by ESA, JWST will mainly study the evolution of galaxies back in time to the birth of the very first stars. Nonetheless, its capabilities also make JWST an effective general-purpose observatory able to address a wide range of astrophysical topics, such as the formation of galaxies, stars and planetary systems.
For more information see ESA SNR 17-2004