Space observatories

Space observatories have contributed immensely to astronomy by expanding our understanding of star birth, star death, and galaxies. Credited with thousands of images and research papers, space telescopes help astronomers answer a wide range of intriguing questions about the origin and evolution of our universe.

Thales is proud to be aboard these fascinating instruments which push the boundaries of human scientific understanding every day.



The JWST is an observatory planned to be the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope. It will be launched in 2018 and is intended to be in operation for 5 to 10 years.
Many innovative technologies have been developed for JWST and these innovations will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology. JWST’s technological advantages enable superb image quality, a large field of view, low background light and a highly stable operating environment.

Thales has provided 26 GHz band TWTs (TH4626C) in the 50 watt power range which will enable the observatory to transmit large volumes of scientific data back to Earth.



Launched in May 2009, this observatory collects the light from distant and poorly known objects, such as newborn galaxies thousands of millions of light-years away.
The Herschel mirror is bigger than any of its predecessors (approximately 7 meters high and 4.3 meters wide). It is the first space observatory covering the full far-infrared and sub-millimeter waveband and is located 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth, further than any previous space telescope.
Thales provided X band TWTs (TH4604C) in the 30 watt power range to enable data transmission.