Mysteries abound when we look at physics on a cosmic scale. How does gravity work near black holes? What can we learn from the leftover glow of the Big Bang? What strange “dark energy” is speeding up the expanding universe? The Physics of the Cosmos program works to reveal the hidden mechanisms of the universe.
All of the galaxies, stars, and planets —everything we know— evolved from a hot soup of particles following the Big Bang. From the rise of the first stars to the role played by elusive dark matter, the Cosmic Origins program strives to discover how we arrived at the complex universe of today.
Webb is a premier observatory, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.
Hubble, the observatory, is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, the ultimate mountaintop. Above the distortion of the atmosphere, far far above rain clouds and light pollution, Hubble has an unobstructed view of the universe. Scientists have used Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system.
The Space Science Mission Operations project (SSMO) manages Phase E / mission operations of space science satellite missions assigned to it. SSMO is also involved in mission operations concept development, ground system development, integration and testing, and operations readiness preparations.