The National Space Society and the Huntsville Alabama L5 (HAL5) Society invites you to a free Space forum:

The Webb Space Telescope: The First Light Machine

Thursday, January 13, 202, 8:00 pm to 9:15 pm EST

With Special Guest Dr. H. Philip Stahl, Senior Optical Physicist, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center


On Christmas Day 2021, the Webb Space Telescope (WST) was launched from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at Europe’s Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket. This was the beginning of its 29-day, million mile journey out to the second Earth-Sun Lagrange point (L2). From L2 the WST will begin its 10-year mission to search for the first luminous objects of the universe to help answer fundamental questions about how the Uuniverse came to look like it does today, including formation of galaxies and protoplanetary systems.

With a 6.5-meter diameter mirror, the WST is the world’s largest space telescope. Dr. Stahl will review the science objectives for the WST and how they drove the WST architecture, e.g. aperture, wavelength range, and operating temperature. In addition to a program status, Dr. Stahl’s presentation provides an overview of the WST’s primary mirror technology development and fabrication status. Take this opportunity to learn more about one of the most exciting and ambitious space science missions ever attempted.

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Dr. H. Philip Stahl is a Senior Optical Physicist at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center where he is currently leading a study to mature mirror technologies for a new large aperture UV/Optical/IR telescope to replace Hubble. Previously, he was responsible for developing candidate primary mirror technologies for the WST.

Dr. Stahl is a leading authority in optical metrology, optical engineering, and phase-measuring interferometry. Many of the world’s largest telescopes have been made with the aid of high-speed and infrared phase-measuring Interferometers developed by him. He is a Fellow of SPIE and OSA and past ICO Vice President and was SPIE’s 2014 President. He earned his Ph.D. in Optical Science at the University of Arizona in 1985.


Register no later than Jan 13 at 7 pm EST

Past NSS Space Forums and Town Halls may be viewed here.

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