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Mid InfraRed Instrument
JWST satellite
Artist's representation of the James Webb Space Telescope.
INSTRUMENT 
Instrument mounted on JWST, spacecraft developed by ESA, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.
To see the "first light in the Universe".
In orbit around the Lagrange L2 point
Nominal lifetime: 5 years

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Uncovering MIRI's Detectors © NASA/JPL
Uncovering MIRI's Detectors
© NASA/JPL
(~ 28 Mb MP4 format)

 

The project main steps

Timeline

MIRI (Mid InfraRed Instrument) is 1 of the 3 scientific instruments of the new space telescope named JWST (Jawes Webb Space Telescope) that will take over the HST (Hubble Space Telescope) currently used by the astronomy international community. The JWST with its enhanced performances (6.5 m diameter mirror compared with a 2 m diameter mirror on the HST for example) intends to see the "first light in the Universe", that is to scrutinize the sky around 13 billions years in the past. It will also be able to observe the formation of stars in the molecular clouds, the formation of solar systems around other stars and see Jupiter-like or larger planets around stars. The JWST will not orbit the Earth as the HST, but will be placed around the L2 Lagragian point of the Earth Sun system.

The JWST is developed under the NASA responsibility in cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). MIRI is developed under ESA and national space agencies responsibility by a European Consortium of laboratories.

MIRI itself is composed of 2 main parts: the spectrometers led by Dutch and British and the imager MIRIM led by French. But 7 other countries are participating: Belgian (electronics, calibration optics, mirrors), Danish (structure), German (cold mechanisms), Irish (dichroics), Spain (simulator), Swedish (filters), Swiss (harness, covers).


Latest update 27/02/2014
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NEWS
20/02/2014
MIRI Installation on James Webb Telescope.
 
03/02/2014
MIRI keeps cool under low pressure.
 
30/09/2013
NIRSpec instrument, second European instrument of the JWST, was delivered to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
 
09/05/2012
MIRI hand over to ESA.

The first instrument to be completed for the James Webb Space Telescope, MIRI, was handed over by the European consortium that built it to ESA at a ceremony in London, the 9th of May. It will now be delivered to NASA aiming for launch in 2018.
Read more...
 
05/10/2010
Beginning of environment tests and calibration of MIRI Flight Model at RAL (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory).
 
16/02/2010
Delivery of the imaging box flight model to ESA.