The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Deputy Administrator Shana Dale and Canadian Space Agency President Laurier Boisvert signed the agreement that defines the terms of the agencies' cooperation on the telescope.
According to the agreement, NASA will be responsible for the overall management and operations of the mission and will build the spacecraft, the telescope and the platform that will host the instruments.
The Canadian Space Agency will provide the fine guidance sensor instrument, used for locating and maintaining a fixed pointing on a guide star as well as assisting in the operation of the telescope and related facilities.
"Canada's collaboration on the James Webb Space Telescope strengthens our outstanding and longstanding partnership with NASA and positions Canadian science and technology in the forefront of space exploration," said Boisvert.
Although optimized to operate over a different range of wavelengths, the James Webb Space Telescope is considered to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Its launch is targeted for 2013, with the telescope designed to operate for at least five years.