While the international James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) mission will soon be preparing for its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, we’re inviting you to make a homemade spacecraft or rocket representing the mission, from everyday household items.
Share your missions ‘launching’ on your social media accounts using the #WebbAtHome hashtag (Twitter or Instagram) or via private message to ESA’s Facebook account. For the creations that make us smile the most, we’ll send a package of ESA and Webb mission goodies.
While cardboard, empty containers, scissors and glue will surely play their part, we welcome ideas from across the creative spectrum: baking, sewing, painting, LEGO, origami – the choice is yours.
To help inspire you, those of us working behind the scenes at ESA have been getting creative, too. Check out our ideas in the gallery below, and continue scrolling for additional mission information and for the full terms and conditions and link to privacy notice.
To be eligible for prizes, we will gladly receive your entries until 30 November, but if you are discovering this page at a later date, we hope it will still inspire you to get creative and bring some European Space Agency vibes to your home.
New to Webb and Ariane and need some inspiration of how your creation should look? As well as the artist impressions on this page, we invite you to explore farther our web pages here for Webb and here for Ariane, to learn more about the mission and its launcher.
More about Webb
Webb – an international partnership between NASA, ESA and CSA – is a space observatory to see further into our origins than ever before. It will observe the Universe’s first galaxies, reveal the birth of stars and planets, and look for exoplanets with the potential for life. Closer to home, Webb will also look at our own Solar System. Webb follows Hubble as the next great space science observatory designed make breakthrough discoveries in all fields of astronomy.
The mission launches on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. It will arrive via boat to the Spaceport and will spend nearly two months preparing for launch. Webb is folded up origami-style to fit inside the launcher, which has been customized especially for the telescope. After launch it will embark on a month-long journey to its final orbit about one and a half million kilometres from Earth, at the Lagrange point 2. Along the way it will unfold like a ‘Transformer’ in space, unfurling its sunshield, which is the size of a tennis court, and then deploying its 6.5-metre primary mirror that will detect the faint light of distant stars and galaxies.
As well as launch services, ESA contributes to two of the four science instruments, along with personnel to support mission operations.
How to enter, and other small print
1. Get creative!
2. Take a photo/video of your creation launching on its mission and share it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WebbAtHome or by direct messaging us on the ESA Facebook account.
3. Be proud of your creation! Once the competition is closed there’ll be a certificate of participation that you can download.
4. Keep following as we countdown to launch – we’ll provide information nearer the time on how to follow the launch live.
Terms and conditions
Ownership, original works
Participants certify that their photo/video submission is their original work, that they have full legal right to use any portion that is not their original work, that they have permission from anyone identifiably shown in the photo submission to submit the photo. The image remains the property of the submitter and they retain copyright, however, by submitting a photo, participants grant ESA and its partner Agencies permanent permission to publish the photo in any channel at any time for the purpose of promoting the Webb mission and this competition, with proper credit and without any remuneration. The participant’s name, home town and social media names may also be published by ESA and re-published by media.
In addition to the rules outlined here, participants also agree to abide by the terms and conditions of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Be creative but be safe! You are responsible for taking the photos/videos and ESA accepts no liability for any injuries, illnesses or death that may occur as a result of entering this competition.
While this is an “at home” activity, do take into consideration any rules and regulations with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in your country.
The rules may be updated or added to without notice, reflecting any questions we receive to clarify rules. Dates may change due to unforeseen events that are out of our control. The competition is run on a best-effort basis.
The jury’s decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered into to discuss the final winners.
A condition of being featured as a winner is that the entrant declares their consent in writing, in accordance with point 10 of the privacy notice, via the social channel they entered.
Please also see ESA’s privacy notice for social media: https://www.esa.int/Services/ESA_Privacy_Notice_ESA_social_media
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to be in the photo? No, but you are very welcome to be. Family pets are also welcome. Please make sure you have the consent of everyone in the photo/video. If you are an adult and the photo/video includes children, you must have the permission from the parent or legal guardian for each child.
Can I submit multiple photos? We would love to see your creative process unfold so do share updates with us if your project is taking a few weeks. Be sure to mention in your final communication about it that this is the finished product and ready for consideration for prizes. You could also submit multiple photos or a gif in your final post, if you prefer.
Can I submit a video? Yes! Just a suggestion, but a timelapse of you creating your #WebbAtHome mission might be a fun idea. You won’t be judged on your photography/videography skills, though, only on the actual creation.
Are there special considerations depending on which social media platform I enter via? We will accept entries via Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WebbAtHome or by direct messaging us on the ESA Facebook account. Keep in mind:
-Twitter: we’ll be monitoring the #WebbAtHome hashtag from the @ESA_Webb account and will RT your entries from there (feel free to follow and tag us!).
-Instagram: we’ll be monitoring the #WebbAtHome hashtag from the @europeanspaceagency account; if you also include the hashtag #yourESA we will be on the lookout to add your entries to our @yourESA page! Don’t enter your submission as a story – we don’t want it to disappear and for us to miss it! Feel free to follow and tag us and make sure your profile is public for us to engage with your post.
-Facebook: you’ll need to send us a private message with your finished photo/video, which we’ll add to a public gallery on the European Space Agency Facebook page
Remember! By entering on your preferred platform, you agree to the terms and conditions of that platform. Please also see ESA’s privacy notice for social media: https://www.esa.int/Services/ESA_Privacy_Notice_ESA_social_media
Will my photo/video be used elsewhere, other than the platform I submit it? If you are selected as a top ten winner, we will contact you to check you are happy for your image to feature on esa.int/webb, and ask you to give written consent via private message on the social channel you entered, in accordance with our privacy notice. The article will be promoted on ESA’s social media channels and therefore may also feature on ESA’s Facebook/Twitter/Instagram channel.
Can I enter any other way? Sorry, but we are not monitoring e.g. an email account for this activity. If you don’t have a social media account, perhaps you can ask a friend/family member who does, to share your photo/video. Of course, you are welcome to just have fun with this activity at home, and not enter it in the competition.
How will you judge the winners? Small Webb-themed and other ESA-related spot prizes will be awarded for images that stand out to the judges as being particularly unique, so first and foremost, we’re looking for creativity and imagination! We hope you’ll spend some time looking at Webb and Ariane on this website to get inspired and we’ll be looking out for creative representations of the spacecraft/rocket’s structural elements, or if you manage to capture some of the mission’s science themes.
Who is judging the entries? Our ESA Webb Social Media working group, comprising ESA’s science mission and launchers editors and social media managers from ESA’s Communication Department, and Webb mission scientists and instrument engineers.
How will I know if I win a prize? We will write to you on the social media channel that you posted the entry, for example as a reply, asking you to connect with us via private message for your mail address so we can send you the prize package. Please note that we cannot guarantee delivery times – due to COVID restrictions we are not in our offices (where the prizes live) as frequently as we used to be, so there may be some delay between notifying you that you have won a prize, and us shipping it. Thank you for your understanding!
How many prize opportunities will there be? At least once a month between now and launch we’ll identify one or two projects that we’d like to commend. These spot prizes will be awarded ad-hoc during the submission period.
What kind of goodies can we win? Goodies will include things like Webb mission stickers, pins, magnets, brochures and other small items that we can easily mail.
Will there be a grand prize? After the closing date we’ll identify our top ten entries and showcase them in a dedicated article on esa.int/webb. Winning a spot prize does not automatically qualify you, neither disqualify you, from being included in the final top ten. The top prize will be – aside from bragging rights and the possibility that we’ll use your mission as a backup for the real thing* – an extra-large goody package so that you can share it with your school class or friends (when the pandemic situation allows again). We may also include the winning entries in further social media promotional activities around the launch or other key mission milestones.
(*not really, sorry).
How frequently can I enter? You can enter as many times as you like (keep those creative juices flowing!) but to allow everyone fair access to prizes, we will only send one prize package per entrant, even if your subsequent entry/entries are even more out of this world. Subsequent awesome entries could still be considered for the grand prize, though. Note: multiple members of the same household can enter separately and be eligible for prizes.
If there is more than one person in my photo/video, who wins the prize? The person who submitted the photo/video and whose contact details we receive will be contacted as the prize winner. But it is up to you to share the prize with your friends or family if it was a group effort. If you are selected in the final top ten article, we’d be happy to include everyone’s names who was involved. Be sure to tell us!
When is the opening/closing date? The activity launches on 1 June 2021 and closes 30 November 2021.
How old do I need to be to enter? This is a family-friendly activity so there are no restrictions on age. However, if you are under 18, by entering we assume that you have permission from your parent or legal guardian. Similarly, if you are an adult and the photo/video includes children, you must have the permission from the parent or legal guardian for each child. (Other adults in the photo must also be aware they are in the photo/video!)
I don’t live in Europe, can I still enter? Yes! Anyone in the world can enter and anyone in the world can win our spot prizes. You can also enter in any language, although note that our main communications channels are in English. Our top prize will only be open to entrants living in ESA Member/Associate/Cooperating States http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Corporate_news/Member_States_Cooperating_States. These are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
I work at ESA or a partner agency. Can I enter or win? You and your family members are very welcome to enter, and we will consider your contributions as part of our spot prizes, although you are not eligible for the top prize package. Please spread the word amongst your colleagues, too, and you are welcome to promote this activity on your social channels even if you don’t wish to enter yourself.
Where will news about the competition be announced? The lead channel for this activity is @ESA_Webb on Twitter, and this website (esa.int/webb). If there is any major change to the competition rules or dates, we will update this article accordingly. Following the official close of the competition element of this activity, we will post a separate winners article to conclude the competition. We will reach out to you on the channel you entered to formalize your consent to have your image displayed on esa.int/webb.
What if I have a question that’s not answered here? You can ask us via one of our social media platforms (@ESA_Webb on Twitter, or ESA’s Facebook/Instagram account). Preferably a direct message, or @ message if via Twitter. If it’s a really obvious question we should have included in this FAQ, we’ll even add the Q&A here for others to benefit.
We look forward to receiving your entries!