The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), formerly the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is a collaborative effort between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop a large, near- and mid-infrared optimized space telescope to be launched in the middle of this decade. JWST will see fainter and further than previous telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), thereby enabling new scientific discoveries and providing answers to questions as old as human imagination: How did planets, stars, and galaxies come into existence and are we alone in the Universe? The telescope will be equipped with four ultra-sensitive scientific instruments, which have multiple imaging, spectroscopic, and coronographic modes. Development of the JWST is led by the JWST project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) will have a similar role in JWST as it does for HST, and will be the Science and Operations Center (S&OC) for the telescope. This will include selecting proposals and making sure that the observations are scheduled safely and efficiently (Planning and Scheduling), operating the telescope and managing emergencies (Flight Operations), and designing software and pipelines for data reduction and analysis and then archiving the calibrated observations (Data Release). As for HST, the STScI is also the lead for JWST public outreach after launch.
The STScI represents the intermediary between the astronomical community and the JWST project as a whole. As such, we represent the science community's perspective on the project, ensure that the science goals for JWST are preserved and support the activity of the Science Working Group.