This Custom Shipping Container For Telescope Parts Is Fantastic

The James Webb Space Telescope takes carefully packing parts to new extremes: the packaging for the latest shipment weighted more than fifty times the actual part! This is the Space Telescope Transporter for Air Road and Sea, the shipping container for telescopes. » 2/28/15 1:00pm 2/28/15 1:00pm

The Webb Telescope's "Golden Spider" Is Giant And Gorgeous

This Massive Chamber Is A Space Simulator For Spacecraft

The James Webb Space Telescope is about to be tucked into a massive space simulator as part of its testing to ensure it can survive the harsh orbital environment. The telescope is the next-generation planet-hunter, intended to check exoplanetary atmospheres for signs of life. » 12/22/14 8:30pm 12/22/14 8:30pm

These Mirrors Are Part Of The Biggest Space Telescope

A giant robotic arm practiced hanging silver and gold mirrors on the backbone of the James Webb Space Telescope, then a human engineer carefully checked its work. Eventually, the full telescope will be launched into space, then unfold in a delicate choreography of inverse origami. » 10/11/14 3:00pm 10/11/14 3:00pm

This Massive Sunshield Will Protect NASA's New Space Telescope

When the sunshield for the James Webb Space Telescope underwent deployment testing, it unfolded exactly like it would in space. At least, it did if you ignore the people, cranes, air, warmth, gravity, and conspicuous absence of the rest of the telescope. Even so, it looks really cool, and provides an SPF one million… » 10/02/14 8:00am 10/02/14 8:00am

This Spacecraft Spine Will Support An Entire Telescope

Engineers unfolded the James Webb Space Telescope's spine in the world's largest clean room in preparation for decking it with mirrors like a giant, glittering Christmas tree. » 8/19/14 8:00am 8/19/14 8:00am

Next Generation Telescopes Take Us Closer to Finding Alien Life

Every day we find more exoplanets. With bigger and better telescopes on the horizon, we'll have far more observations of these planets than ever before — and NASA scientists are optimistic we'll discover alien life within decades. » 7/16/14 5:45pm 7/16/14 5:45pm

Here's Why You Should Be Excited About The James Webb Space Telescope

Peter Cullen, voice of Optimus Prime, recently lent his legendary voice to a slick animated introduction to the successor of the ridiculously prolific Hubble Telescope, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. But Cullen's velvety voice is far from the only reason to be excited about JWST. » 6/21/14 2:00pm 6/21/14 2:00pm

New Technique Could Help Scientists Detect Alien Life... in Four Years

A team of astrobiologists has described a new method of detecting not just water, but life, on distant worlds. There's just one problem – the telescope we need to do it won't be on line until 2018. » 3/09/14 3:30pm 3/09/14 3:30pm

Must Watch: Dawkins, Nye, Tyson, and Stephenson Discuss Science and…

"Without hyperbole, it is true that i don't think there has ever been on one stage an assembly of science storytellers and communicators like this," said theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss of the panelists assembled for the debate featured here. We're inclined to agree with him. » 4/15/13 12:20pm 4/15/13 12:20pm

This spectacular image is the deepest view of the Universe ever captured

Astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope have just released the most detailed view of the early Universe ever captured. It's called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF for short. The image combines over ten years' worth of photographs by Hubble. It required 2-million seconds of exposure time to produce, and… » 9/26/12 8:00am 9/26/12 8:00am

These mirrors will allow us to observe the birth of the Universe

In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will become one of the greatest tools in humanity's quest to understand the cosmos. Now, after eight years, the technology comprising the heart and soul of the telescope — an ultra-sophisticated beryllium mirror system — is complete. » 8/21/12 12:00pm 8/21/12 12:00pm

This could be our best view yet of the earliest objects in the Universe

NASA researchers have detected the faint glow of what they believe to be the first stars and galaxies to form in the aftermath of the Big Bang — and it's positively stunning. If the team's findings are correct, they could offer valuable insight into the nature of the Universe's very first objects. » 6/08/12 11:40am 6/08/12 11:40am

Astronomers discover a brand-new class of exoplanet — the boiling…

NASA's Kepler mission has been spoiling us with planetary discoveries left and right as of late. Now, researchers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an entirely new class of planet — they call it a "waterworld," and it might be covered in broiling-hot ice. » 2/21/12 11:21am 2/21/12 11:21am

Watch the assembly of the James Webb Space Telescope — live via Webb…

Bad puns aside, this is actually pretty cool. NASA has set up two webcams in the cleanroom of Goddard Space Flight Center, where engineers are busy assembling the James Webb Space Telescope — the deep space imaging apparatus that will allow us to see farther into space than ever before. » 1/09/12 3:48pm 1/09/12 3:48pm

Here are 10,000 reasons to be excited about deep-space exploration

Yesterday, NASA announced a milestone in the almost 22-year history of its Hubble Space Telescope: The 10,000th refereed scientific paper based on Hubble data has now been published, reinforcing that Hubble is one of the most successful astronomical experiments in human history. » 12/07/11 7:05am 12/07/11 7:05am

What does the future of space exploration hold?

This past weekend marked the opening of the American Museum of Natural History's brilliant new exhibition, Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration. As part of our ongoing Hardcore Science Interview series, io9 spoke with the show's curator, AMNH astrophysicist Michael Shara, about the exhibit. » 11/21/11 1:51pm 11/21/11 1:51pm

These tiny galaxies are among the most prolific star factories NASA has…

Billions of years ago, when the universe was still in its infancy, the formation of stars is believed to have occurred at a much faster rate than it does today. Now, a recent discovery by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) suggests that the universe's earliest galaxies may have been pumping out stars even faster than… » 11/11/11 4:19pm 11/11/11 4:19pm

Must Watch: Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Pamela Gay, and Lawrence…

I'll come right out and say it: you need to watch this video. It's quite a bit longer than a lot of what we feature here on io9, but the weekend is almost here, and you owe it to yourself to set aside 53 minutes to watch a veritable scientific dream team talk about humanity's future in space. » 10/21/11 12:08pm 10/21/11 12:08pm

Must Listen: Neil deGrasse Tyson's inspirational rant on NASA cutbacks

Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson was on Bill Maher last Friday, and he said everything that needs to be said about plans to slash NASA's budget, including doing away with the James Webb Space Telescope. His phenomenal, astounding rant is one of the greatest pieces of truth-telling you'll hear today: » 8/10/11 2:31pm 8/10/11 2:31pm