Create the Future: An Engineering Podcast

The James Webb Space Telescope

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Episode notes

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been making headlines around the world since the release of its first images in July. That first deep-field image was taken by combining images from two of the telescopes’ instruments, one of which is the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). Today’s guest played a key role in building it.

In this episode of the Create the Future podcast, we speak to Paul Eccleston—chief engineer at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory—about the engineering behind MIRI. We hear what it was like to see first images nearly 20 years after starting work on MIRI, discover its biggest design challenge, and discuss all things instrument assembly, thermal design, integration, testing, and verification. We talk about the launch of JWST, hear what Paul is working on now, and find out why he likens engineering teamwork to an orchestra.

New episodes of Create the Future: An Engineering Podcast every other Tuesday

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