NASA Sets Coverage, Invites Public to View Webb Telescope Launch

NASA will provide coverage of prelaunch, launch, and postlaunch activities for the James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s largest and most powerful space science telescope.

Webb is targeted to launch at 4:20 a.m. PST Friday, Dec. 24, on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America.

Live launch coverage in English will begin at 3 a.m. on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. The public can also watch live on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and Daily Motion. NASA also will offer a launch broadcast in Spanish beginning at 3:30 a.m. on the agency’s website and Spanish-language social media accounts. NASA will hold a prelaunch media briefing at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21, and a postlaunch news conference approximately 30 minutes after the live launch broadcast ends on Friday, Dec. 24.

The Webb mission, an international partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency, 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. Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

For more information about the Webb mission, visit:

Ames’ scientists and researchers are significantly involved with the development of Webb. The following Ames subject matter experts are available for virtual interviews ahead of launch between Tuesday, Dec. 21 and Thursday, Dec. 23:


  • Dr. Thomas Greene is an astrophysicist in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He conducts observational studies of exoplanets and young stars and develops astronomical technologies and instrumentation. Dr. Greene is the principal investigator of two James Webb Space Telescope guaranteed observing time programs to study exoplanets and protostars, and co-investigator on two of the telescope’s instruments: NIRCam, or Near-Infrared Camera, and MIRI, or Mid-Infrared Instrument. Dr. Greene has a Bachelor of Arts in physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Arizona. 


  • Dr. Natasha Batalha is a scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center studying the atmospheres of worlds beyond our solar system, called exoplanets. Under the James Webb Space Telescope, Dr. Batalha is co-leading the largest exoplanet-focused guest-observer campaign to study the atmospheres of a mysterious class of planets between the size of Earth and Neptune. She has a Bachelor of Arts in physics from Cornell University and a dual Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in astrobiology and astrophysics. 


  • Dr. Thomas Roellig is an astrophysicist and the chief of the Astrophysics Branch at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He has been working on the James Webb Space Telescope for the past 20 years, where he has contributed to the development of the NIRCam, or Near-Infrared Camera, instrument. He has conducted research and published papers in infrared instrument development, solar science, solar system science, star formation, interstellar medium, and brown dwarf astronomy. Dr. Roellig has a Bachelor of Science in physics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Cornell University.



Media interested in a virtual interview with one of the above subject matter experts from Ames Research Center should email