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July 11, 2022

Science Committee Leaders Johnson, Lucas, Beyer, and Babin Celebrate First Image from James Webb Space Telescope

(Washington, DC) – This evening President Biden unveiled the James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) first full-color scientific image. Webb, the largest and most complex observatory ever launched into space, has been preparing to begin its science work over the last six months. The image release marks the beginning of Webb’s science operations. JWST is an international collaboration among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The remaining images will be released tomorrow.
“The first image from the James Webb Space Telescope unveiled this evening is an incredible preview of its remarkable technology and scientific power,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “This image gives us an unparalleled look at the universe and it’s only the beginning of what Webb will discover about the origins of the universe, lifecycle of stars, evolution of galaxies, and more. As a steadfast supporter of Webb and its mission, I am elated to see this image today—an image that has been 20 years of hard work in the making. Thank you to the dedicated engineers, scientists, and researchers whose efforts made this possible, and congratulations to NASA and its partners on this historic accomplishment. Like other historic feats in space that came before it, Webb’s discoveries will inspire an entire generation. I will continue to follow along as Webb deepens our understanding of the universe and look forward to the remaining images that will be released tomorrow, and seeing what we learn from Webb.”
“This image is the product of years of hard work and dedication by NASA and its partners, and it showcases the incredible value of America’s innovative and collaborative approach to space science,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK). “The James Webb Space Telescope will allow us to see farther back in space and time than we ever have before, giving us insights into how the first galaxies formed more than 13 billion years ago. I’d like to congratulate all the dedicated scientists, technicians, engineers, and staff who made this possible. I look forward to seeing JWST’s discoveries and I hope that it inspires the next generation of STEM students to pursue their dreams.”
“The mesmerizing first scientific image from the James Webb Space Telescope is breath-taking,” said Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA). “JWST has been a top priority for astronomers for decades, and this image, and the ones to come tomorrow, represent the realization of that long-standing goal and the culmination of a tremendous effort of a generation of scientists, engineers, and technicians. This technological feat also represents the opening of an incredible era of discovery that I think will extend long into the future. In this image and the handful of images we’ll see tomorrow, from just the first round of observations, we see physical phenomena that span space and time like we never have seen before, all in stunning detail. I am thrilled for the scientists who will study these images, and I am thrilled for young people who will grow up with them and be inspired to think big and be curious. JWST is a fantastic tool of discovery, and it is only just getting started.”
“After years of anticipation, NASA is releasing the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, revealing the universe to our eyes,” said Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX). “NASA has done incredible work with its global partners leading up to this historic image release. I want to thank everyone who has made this possible, particularly those at the Johnson Space Center. But it doesn’t stop here. For years to come, the telescope will continue to provide us with breathtaking images and data that will get us closer to discovering the secrets of our vast universe.”