Corning Incorporated today announced that its advanced optics technologies played a vital role in capturing the first high-resolution color images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. This milestone builds on Corning’s rich history of enabling space exploration, which began more than six decades ago when NASA’s Project Mercury sent the first Americans into space.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the largest, most complex space telescope ever built. It extends the work of the Hubble Space Telescope, capturing images of distant galaxies, stars, and exoplanets in deep space. The photos released by NASA feature the deepest look into the universe the world has ever seen. Unlike the Hubble, the JWST will not be in Earth’s orbit; instead, the telescope will orbit the sun 1 million miles away from Earth.
Corning’s Keene, New Hampshire facility engineered and manufactured key optical instruments for the JWST. The image capture technologies produced by Corning are integrated within JWST’s Fine Guidance Sensor and the Near Infrared Imager. These vital components help point and stabilize the entire telescope platform for data collection that enables astronomers to determine the age and chemical mixture of distant objects.
“Our advanced optical solutions are enabling some of the most extreme applications in the depths of outer space,” said David Meis, business director, Corning Advanced Optics. “We’ve supported the aerospace industry since its earliest days by creating custom optical components, and today, our technologies are critical to the data and image capture by the most impressive space telescope in the world. We’re honored to celebrate this milestone alongside NASA.”
Even before NASA’s establishment, Corning’s expertise in glass and optical physics supported humankind’s understanding of outer space with the creation of the 200-inch mirror for the Hale Telescope in 1935. Corning began its longstanding collaboration with NASA when the company’s heat-resistant windows for Project Mercury protected the spacecraft and its passengers from dangerously high temperatures. Since then, the company has developed and manufactured mirrors for telescopes, the Destiny Nadir window for the International Space Station, and the thermally stable space shuttle windows for every American-manned space craft through NASA and the International Space Station.
To learn more about Corning’s history in the aerospace industry, visit: https://www.corning.com/aerospace-defense/index.html
To view photos taken by the JWST, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/webbfirstimages.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world's leading innovators in materials science, with a 170-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people's lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries. Corning's capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning's markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display, automotive, and life sciences.