As part of the technology validation strategy of the next generation space telescope (NGST), a system testbed is being developed at GSFC, in partnership with JPL and Marshall Space Flight Center, which will include al of the component functions envisioned in an NGST active optical system. The system will include an actively controlled, segmented primary mirror, actively controlled secondary, deformable, and fast steering mirrors, wavefront sensing optics, wavefront control algorithms, a telescope simulator module, and an interferometric wavefront sensor for use in comparing final obtained wavefronts from different tests. The developmental cryogenic active telescope testbed will be implemented in three phase. Phase 1 will focus on operating the testbed at ambient temperature. During Phase 2, a cryocapable segmented telescope will be developed and cooled to cryogenic temperature to investigate the impact on the ability to correct the wavefront and stabilize the image. In Phase 3, it is planned to incorporate industry developed flight-like components, such as figure controlled mirror segments, cryogenic, low hold power actuators, or different wavefront sensing and control hardware or software. A very important element of the program is the development and subsequent validation of the integrated multidisciplinary models. The phase 1 testbed objectives, plans, configuration, and design will be discussed.