McAllen — The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) has joined hundreds of sites across the country to celebrate the release of the first science images from the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s next great space science observatory on July 12, 2022. IMAS will offer a range of public and virtual programs in July and August to bring the excitement of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) to the Rio Grande Valley community.

“We are thrilled that IMAS was selected as an official host site for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope community events celebrating its first stunning images,” said Ann Fortescue, IMAS President and Executive Director.

Anne Marchand, Mirror, 2016. 72 x 72, acrylic, ink, marker, beads, latex, bark and fabric on canvas.

Engineers conduct a white light inspection on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

Webb is the largest and most complex space science telescope ever built – the premier observatory of the next decade. This international mission, led by NASA in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, launched Dec. 25, 2021. After unfolding in space into its final form, Webb successfully arrived at its destination nearly one million miles from Earth and began preparing for science operations.

The observatory, which is designed to see the universe in the infrared, will push the field of astronomy into a new era. Webb will be able to study light from distant parts of the universe for the very first time – the first galaxies that formed over 13.5 billion years ago – and give us insight into how our universe formed. It will also peer into dusty stellar nurseries to explore distant worlds orbiting other stars, as well as observe objects in our own solar system. Webb will extend the scientific discoveries of other NASA missions like the Hubble Space Telescope.

Anne Marchand, Mirror, 2016. 72 x 72, acrylic, ink, marker, beads, latex, bark and fabric on canvas.

NASA technicians use a crane to lift and move the James Webb Space Telescope, with its 21-foot primary mirror deployed. Credits: NASA/Desiree Stover

Join the unveiling of Webb’s first images online and on social media to experience this historic space event with IMAS. Live coverage of the image release broadcast will air on the NASA app and the agency’s website ( at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 12.

IMAS has partnered with McAllen Public Utility to honor this amazing feat of science while also celebrating the coming school year. Back to School Blast Off will take place at IMAS on Sunday, August 14 from 1-5 p.m. The event will feature hands-on activities, community booths, a virtual Webb Expert panel, and more. Jessica Salinas, MPU Water Education & Communications Coordinator shares, “MPU is excited to join the IMAS in this great opportunity that gives back to the community and encourages younger generations to explore science.”

To learn more about the Webb telescope, visit: and . For information about other Webb community event locations, visit:

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