JWST Media Day

We had a big media day for JWST in early November – the planning for it was totally intense, but it definitely paid off. I helped out where I could, but my big contribution to the day came in the afternoon, when we had an event for artists. I’ll get into that for another post though. :-)

The media portion of the day was in the morning, and it was a very big deal – the NASA Administrator came to see the telescope, and to speak about it on NASA TV, along with John Mather, our Nobel Laureate and senior project scientist, and Bill, the project manager.

After the live TV show, other project folks answered media questions, and then the media were broken into groups so they could ask questions from project members in a less formal, smaller setting.

The telescope itself was displayed to perfection, with “pipe and draping” there to cut out the glare from the large atrium windows, and beautiful lighting, and the telescope angled just so. From one side of the room, it looked golden, from the other, you could actually see your reflection in it. In the actual mirrors that will see the first stars and galaxies that formed in the early universe.

So much work went into every aspect of this event, so kudos to our whole team, especially our organizers!

Here are some photos of the day!

Actually we start with the day before and see the telescope facing front:

They moved the big case with the test mirror and the scale model somewhere else to make room, because we had to fit cameras and people and pipe and draping here.

Obligatory selfie:

The upstairs was jam packed, so lots of us watched on a monitor downstairs. That’s John Mather speaking, the NASA Administrator is at right.

Susan, who was a JWST intern back in 2009, and who did art for two games I developed before that, came to my artist event. Since she was staying with me, she came along to help out for the whole day. Here she is doing sketchnotes of the NASA TV show!


Post-show, the Q&A with media and JWST team members:

A pano showing alllll the people and cameras.

Here’s one of the HQ social media people doing a snapchat shot with John Mather:

I had to grab a selfie with John in front of the telescope!

Here’s John and Susan with her sketchnotes!

Not a selfie!

Mirror selfie!

I mean, you don’t get this chance every day, right?



I love this video – the closer I get to the mirror, the farther away I look!

From yesterday! #JWST

A video posted by Maggie (@lovelyrita_mm) on

If the instagram link doesn’t work, here’s youtube.