In Pictures: 21 critical future NASA missions

NASA space plans include trips to Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and the Sun as well as climate change operations

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NASA says the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continues to make progress toward a 2014 launch. The Webb telescope will be the most sensitive infrared space telescope ever built. It is designed to see the farthest galaxies in the universe and the light of the first stars; study young planetary systems; and look for conditions suitable for life on planets around other stars. The telescope will feature a large mirror, a little over 21-feet in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Key to the James Webb will be its Mid-Infrared Instrument which NASA says will be the most sensitive mid-infrared detector ever flown in space, NASA said.

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In Pictures: 21 critical future NASA missions

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