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Cosmic Origins Projects

Current Missions

Hubble Space Telescope

Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has orbited just above Earth’s atmosphere to get a clear view deep into the universe. Hubble remains one of NASA’s most successful and long-lasting missions, and continues to shed light on astronomy’s greatest mysteries.

James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is NASA’s infrared flagship observatory. JWST is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Following on the technical and scientific legacy of previous optical and infrared space observatories, such as the Hubble, Spitzer and Herschel, JWST offers orders of magnitude improvements in sensitivity and spatial resolution from 0.6 to 28.8 micron, enabling transformative research in a broad range of science areas, including the solar system, exoplanets, star- and planet-formation, galactic science, galaxy formation and evolution, and cosmology.

Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer

The NEOWISE mission searches for asteroids and comets using a space telescope. Launched in 2009 as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the space telescope was originally designed to survey the sky in infrared. After completing its original mission in 2011, it was brought back online and repurposed for the NEOWISE project in 2013.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

As a Boeing 747-SP aircraft modified to accommodate a 2.5 meter gyro-stabilized telescope, SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world.

Related Current Missions

Chandra X-ray Observatory

As the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope, Chandra has eight-times greater resolution and can detect sources over 20-times fainter than previous X-ray telescopes. The Chandra X-Ray Telescope launched into orbit in 1999.

Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope

Launched in 2008, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observes the universe using the highest-energy form of light. Fermi serves as a window to extreme phenomena in our universe, like gamma-ray bursts, black-hole jets, and supernova remnants.

The Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory

Since 2004, the Swift Observatory has investigated gamma-ray bursts. Swift relays the locations of these bursts to ground stations, which allows ground-based and space-based telescopes to observe the afterglow.

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

TESS is an all-sky survey mission launched in 2018 that is dedicated to discovering exoplanets around nearby bright stars.


This satellite is a European Space Agency mission that studies the universe with different kinds of light. To date, XMM-Newton has studied over half a million X-ray sources.

Webb Telescope in Focus!

Ready for commissioning, see press release.

COR News and Events

See our new Events Calendar

Upcoming Events

7–9 June 2022
Unique Science from the Moon in the Artemis Era Workshop »  Details.
11–12 June 2022
240th American Astronomical Society Meeting »  Details.

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Program News and Announcements

10 May 2022
Unique Science from the Moon in the Artemis Era Workshop »  Details.
28 April 2022
National Academies Board on Physics and Astronomy — Spring 2022 Meeting »  Details.
27 April 2022
NASA Response to Astro2020 Decadal Survey, Dr. Paul Hertz, Division Director, Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA »  Details.
11 April 2022
NASA Astrophysics Division Town Hall | May 3, 2022 »  Details.
19 January 2022
NASA PCOS/COR Program Office Announces Upcoming International Workshop on Time Domain Astronomy/Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (TDAMM) »  Details.
13 January 2022
NASA Astrophysics Division Director Position Advertisement »  Details.
Continuing call for nominations to the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG) Executive Committee. »  Details.

Project News


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  • NASA Official: Phil Newman
  • Web Curator: Pat Tyler
Goddard Space Flight Center