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NASA Invites Media, Public to View Webb Telescope’s First Images

An image of the James Webb Space Telescope taken on March 5, 2020.
An image of the James Webb Space Telescope taken on March 5, 2020. Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

Editor’s Note: This advisory is no longer current as of Thursday, July 7. The agency has issued a new advisory for coverage of Webb’s first images on Tuesday, July 12, with additional details.

Editor’s Note: This advisory was updated June 27 to include details about the June 29 Media Day briefing, including participating speakers and streaming information.

NASA, in partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency), will release the James Webb Space Telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data during a televised broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 12, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Released one by one, these first images from the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope will demonstrate Webb at its full power, ready to begin its mission to unfold the infrared universe.

Each image will simultaneously be made available on social media as well as on the agency’s website at:

Embargoed access to Webb’s first images will not be available prior to their public release.

The following is a list of activities leading up to release (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, June 29

Media Day at Webb’s Mission Operations Center

NASA will host a media day at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) on Wednesday, June 29. The event will begin with a media briefing at 10 a.m. on the status of Webb’s commissioning as well as overviews of planned science for Webb’s first year of operations and Webb image processing.

The agency will livestream audio of the briefing on its website. Participants include:

  • NASA Administrator Bill Nelson
  • NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy
  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
  • Science panel:
    • Eric Smith, Webb program scientist and Astrophysics Division chief scientist, NASA Headquarters
    • Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute
    • Susan Mullally, Webb deputy project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute
    • Jonathan Gardner, Webb deputy senior project scientist, NASA Goddard
  • Commissioning and observatory panel:
    • Bill Ochs, Webb project manager, NASA Goddard
    • Lee Feinberg, Webb optical telescope element manager, NASA Goddard
    • Mike Menzel, Webb lead mission systems engineer, NASA Goddard
    • Charlie Atkinson, Webb chief engineer, Northrop Grumman

On-site attendees can tour Webb’s Mission Operations Control facilities, including the Flight Control Room, and conduct interviews with mission experts.

In-person registration is closed; media may register their interest in participating virtually by completing this form by 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 28.

NASA and STScI will soon provide further details to those who register their interest, including the full media day schedule and COVID-19 safety protocols. Due to space limitations, NASA and STScI may be unable to accommodate all requests for on-site attendance.

Tuesday, July 12

Image Release Day

  • 10:30 a.m. – Live coverage of the image release broadcast will air on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. The public also can watch live on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and Daily Motion.
  • 12 p.m. – Following the live broadcast, NASA and its partners will hold a joint media briefing at NASA Goddard. The briefing will livestream on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. The list of media briefing participants is forthcoming, and this advisory will be updated with details later.

Media interested in participating in-person must complete this form by 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 21.

  • 3 p.m. – Live Interview Opportunities: From approximately 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, Webb mission experts will be available to conduct live, remote interviews with broadcast media. Experts will be available to conduct interviews in both English and Spanish. More details about scheduling these interviews will be made available closer to the date. Members of the media seeking interviews outside of these windows should complete this media interview request form.

NASA’s media accreditation policy for on-site and virtual activities is available online. The agency will soon provide further details to those who register their interest, including COVID-19 safety protocols. Due to space limitations, NASA may be unable to accommodate all requests for on-site attendance. Media and members of the public may ask questions on social media using #UnfoldtheUniverse.

Wednesday, July 13

3 p.m.: NASA Science Live

Webb experts will answer questions about the first images and data in a NASA Science Live show. The broadcast, Webb’s First Full-Color Images Explained, will air live on the NASA Science Live website, as well as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Viewers of this episode can submit questions on social media using the hashtag #UnfoldtheUniverse or by leaving a comment in the chat section of the Facebook or YouTube stream.

At the same time, NASA also will broadcast a live social media event in Spanish on its NASA en español YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Webb experts Begoña Vila and Néstor Espinoza will discuss the release of the first images and take questions from followers.

NASA Social

The agency also will host an in-person NASA Social Tuesday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 13. Participants will join as guests for the in-studio filming of the televised broadcast at NASA Goddard, tour NASA Goddard and STScI facilities, and interact with experts from the Webb mission.

Webb Community Events

The public can also join in the excitement of Webb’s first full-color images by attending one of the many official Webb Space Telescope Community Events taking place across the country this summer. The list of events celebrating Webb’s first images is available online and updated frequently.

Webb, an international partnership with ESA and CSA, launched Dec. 25 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. After unfolding into its final form in space and successfully reaching its destination 1 million miles from Earth, the observatory now is completing the months-long process of preparing for science operations. Webb will explore every phase of cosmic history – from within the solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between.

Stay connected with the mission and share your experience with Webb’s first images on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with #UnfoldTheUniverse. Follow and tag these accounts:


Alise Fisher / Natasha Pinol
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-2546 / 202-358-0930 /
Laura Betz  
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.