The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) has been awarded a NASA contract for $162 million to develop and manage Science and Operations Center for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
The contract funds the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) to develop the science operations systems and the flight operations system, to support the development and commissioning of the science instruments and the observatory, to conduct outreach programs to the astronomy community and the public, and to operate JWST. The scope of the contract for JWST is substantially the same as the work that the institute has been performing for the Hubble Space Telescope.
The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to be launched in August 2011, as a successor to the highly acclaimed Hubble Space Telescope. Orbiting the L2 Sun-Earth Lagrange point, JWST's mission is to study the cosmology and structure of the universe, the origin and evolution of galaxies, the history of the Milky Way and its neighbors, the birth and evolution of stars, and the origin and evolution of planetary systems.