After a period of concern following the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), being struck by a micrometeorite, it would appear that it's all systems 'go' ahead of the first official release of images from the scope scheduled for Tuesday July 12. 

Marking a new era in astronomy and probably as great a defining moment in the science as when Galileo Galilei published his first astronomical observations in 1610, the JWST will peer deeper than ever into the Universe in which we live, pushing back the boundaries that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), first probed.

Since the JWST was launched on Christmas Day 2021, astronomers have been working meticulously on a vast sequence of checks and preparations before the world's largest space telescope can finally show the world what the instrument is capable of. 

The final component to 'boot up' on the JWST was the Mid-Infrared instrument or MIDI, which will observe and take photographs of distant galaxies and asteroids.  MIRI must operate at a temperature of minus 267 degrees Celsius, or it will pick up only from the heat radiated from the instrument itself and not that of objects the scope is trying to look for.

As of Sunday June 12, all instruments onboard the JWST were 'on', and the first images were duly taken and relayed back to Earth from the scope's position nearly one million miles away. 

On Tuesday July 12, NASA will release a selection of images for global consumption with the day also marking the point where the JWST will start the first real scientific investigation of our Universe.

Named after James E. Webb, a NASA Administrator from 1961-1968 who guided the agency toward the historic moon landings, the $10 billion scope was first discussed back in the early 1980's, when NASA were planning even then for a follow-up to the HST.