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Harry Lambright discusses the James Webb Space Telescope with Johns Hopkins Magazine

September 28, 2021

John Hopkins Magazine

W. Henry Lambright

W. Henry Lambright

The James Webb Space Telescope launches in December, 60 years after James Webb took over the helm of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 17 years after construction of the telescope began, and three years after NASA—delayed by technical issues and the coronavirus pandemic—planned to put the instrument into action. "I don't know that he [Webb] had any vision from the standpoint of the telescope beyond what any intelligent person would have," says Professor Harry Lambright, author of "Powering Apollo: James E. Webb of NASA."

"He did listen to scientists, but I don't think he personally had a vision for the cosmos. Webb was always looking ahead from the standpoint of NASA and what it could do in the future. It was clear to him that it would be important to demonstrate the usefulness of the capabilities that NASA was developing in the '60s, and one of the ways you could do that would be to show how useful you were to science, and a space telescope clearly would be very important for science," Lambright says. Read more in the Johns Hopkins Magazine article, "Mapping the Universe's Origin Story."

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