After 25 years of development, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), one of NASA’s highest-profile and most important missions this millennium, was successfully launched on December 25, 2021, from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana. Supporting the launch in critical mission roles were Metis employees working as subcontractors to Peraton Corporation on Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Deep Space Network (DSN) program. JWST, which is the most powerful space observatory ever built, has the bold mission of uncovering mysteries of the universe by analyzing exoplanets and their atmospheres and collecting data to calculate the rate at which the universe is expanding. Metis employees will continue to provide essential mission support as the telescope continues its journey through space, becomes fully functional, and begins capturing images of distant cosmic objects.
“The James Webb Space Telescope seeks to answer some of the most profound questions about the nature of our universe,” said Metis CEO Joy Colucci. “It is a sincere honor for Metis to play a role in answering those questions. We could not be prouder of Metis employees working on DSN and their critical work supporting the mission.”
Metis employees worked on a full range of DSN activities leading up to the successful launch of JWST. These activities included performing DSN mission planning, antenna calibrations, critical event planning, day of launch activities such as initial acquisition, and other critical events ensuring quality DSN communications between JWST and project personnel. Once it is fully deployed, JWST will be able to detect objects up to 100 times fainter than the Hubble Space Telescope with its cutting-edge infrared cameras and light-sensing technologies. Approximately the size of a tennis court, the full cost for the development and launch of JWST was $10 billion. JWST is set to be fully functional by late January 2022, and the first images taken by the telescope are anticipated to be released in June or July of this year.
Metis Technology Solutions is a woman-owned small business based in Albuquerque, NM and providing science and engineering services to NASA, the US Air Force, and other Federal agencies. Company capabilities and experience include satellite and ground systems development and operations, modeling and simulation in support of aviation and aerospace research, and test facility operations and sustaining engineering.