The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission is a collaborative project between the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and is
considered as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The European contribution consists in providing the
Ariane 5 launcher and two out of the four instruments: a combined mid-infrared camera/spectrograph (MIRI) and a near
infrared spectrograph (NIRSpec). This article will address the mechanical aspects of NIRSpec by providing an overview
of the design drivers and the related solutions for the structure, the thermal design and the mechanisms so as to achieve
the required stringent optical performances. The industrial set-up and the project development status will also be
presented.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.