The European Space Agency awarded EADS Astrium the contract to build the NIRSpec (Near Infrared Spectrograph) "super-eye" for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in August 2004. This 200kg spectrograph will be able to detect the faintest radiation from the most distant galaxies and measure spectra of more than 100 objects simultaneously. In order to do this, the instrument must be able to operate at a temperature of -238° C. EADS Astrium is currently developing the instrument in Friedrichshafen and Ottobrunn, Germany. Scheduled for launch from 2015 aboard an Ariane 5, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the successor to Hubble (launched in 1990), which is currently operational, providing spectacular results and images from the earliest phases of our universe.
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