The scientific capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) fall into four themes. The End of the Dark Ages:
First Light and Reionization theme seeks to identify the first luminous sources to form and to determine the ionization
history of the universe. The Assembly of Galaxies theme seeks to determine how galaxies and the dark matter, gas,
stars, metals, morphological structures, and active nuclei within them evolved from the epoch of reionization to the
present. The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems theme seeks to unravel the birth and early evolution of stars,
from infall onto dust-enshrouded protostars, to the genesis of planetary systems. Planetary Systems and the Origins of
Life theme seeks to determine the physical and chemical properties of planetary systems around nearby stars and of our
own, and investigate the potential for life in those systems. To enable these for science themes, JWST will be a large
(6.5m) cold (50K) telescope with four instruments, capable of imaging and spectroscopy from 0.6 to 29 microns wavelength.
JWST will be used to help understand the shape and chemical composition of the universe, and the evolution of galaxies, stars and planets. With a 6.5 meter primary mirror, the Observatory will observe red shifted light from the early history of the universe, and will see objects 400 times fainter than those seen from large ground-based telescopes or the current generation of space-based infrared telescopes. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) manages JWST with contributions from a number of academic, government, and industrial partners. The contract to build the space-based Observatory for JWST was awarded to the Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST)/Ball/Kodak/ATK team.