Granddaughter of Redfield residents plays role in launch of James Webb Space Telescope on Christmas Day


Redfield residents, Gwen and Richard Jackson’s granddaughter, Katrina, had a significant role during the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope early Christmas morning, 2021. 

Katrina, daughter of Korey and Tana Jackson, was the lead video editor for the portion of the launch broadcast based out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She edited and narrated several of the video packages that played in the first hour of the broadcast, and she was the person rolling all of the science animations live while the host and scientists were talking about the telescope. She said the lack of sleep on Christmas Eve was well worth seeing the telescope successfully launch after years of delays. 

Katrina earned her Master’s degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota in 2013, and previously worked as the lead video producer for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. She is currently a freelance video editor and science communicator.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is the work of thousands of individuals across 14 countries. The telescope, folded up inside an Ariane 5 rocket, launched from Europe’s spaceport in French Guyana, South America at 6:20am Central on December 25. The scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb will observe in infrared wavelengths to detect chemical signatures in the atmospheres of exoplanets, peer through clouds of dust to see the formation of stars, and look back in time to the earliest galaxies.

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