As Webb sparkles in the sunlight, the footage offers a final majestic glimpse at the craft, which was created to look into the beginnings of the universe.


And, while it’s all a very grand and profound, I can’t help but think about how at home this shot would be in a Chris Nolan film or Portishead music video. Watch it above and let me know if you agree.

But the JWST has come a long way since this video was taken. It’s now approaching its final destination in space and engineers have begun deploying various elements of the craft.


This week, scientists have been on edge as the JWST’s tennis-court-sized sunshields were deployed. The shields have been designed to protect the telescope’s mirrors and cameras from the heat, glare and radiation of the sun and other planets.

An artist's impression of the James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope, coming to a cosmos near you.
Illustration: European Space Agency

Once successfully unfurled, engineers then began deploying the observatory’s secondary mirrors, which will focus light onto its cameras. Next, the space agencies began working to unfold the craft’s enormous primary mirror.

The JWST’s primary mirror comprises three parts, including two wings either side of the main body. Each of the two wings is made up of three mirror segments that must be folded out to create the 6.5 meter mirror.


This step in the JWST’s deployment is expected to be completed today.

After this, all the delicate, complex steps of Webb’s deployment will be complete and it will be all about fine-tuning each element and the craft’s position in space before the telescope can begin its research.


Once ready to begin its mission, the JWST will capture images of far off planets and galaxies, including some that may offer a glimpse at the origins of the universe.