Connection with NASA
Fascination and interest in mission
James Webb Space Telescope Exhibit
Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are hard at work developing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST, or “Webb”), NASA’s next generation space observatory. JWST, Hubble’s successor, will launch in 2018, and as NASA prepares to rocket it into space, visitors can learn about the telescope through hands-on exhibit at NASA’s Goddard Visitor Center.
RGI designed and built the new JWST exhibit in collaboration
with NASA educators. The satellite will primarily measure infrared light, building on the capabilities of Hubble, which measures primarily visible and ultraviolet light. The exhibit enables visitors to see themselves through an infrared camera, seeing their own body heat similar to the way that Webb will “see” space.
The beauty of this interaction is that it encourages visitors to intuitively conduct their own personal experiments with the technology. They ask themselves questions like, “Will the color of my palms change if I rub them together?” and then answer those questions through their interactions with the camera. Visitors begin to think like NASA scientists.
The infrared camera encourages people to make their own discoveries, rather than leading them straight to fixed answers. This enhances the meaningfulness of the experience and makes it more memorable.