NASA plans to place the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit on December 18, 2021, to serve as the premier deep space observatory for the next decade. In our previous articles, we often wrote about James Webb and the Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA recently set the new target launch date in coordination with Arianespace after Webb.
It also successfully completed the rigorous testing processes, which was an important milestone for the mission. The new date also follows Arianespace's successful launch of an Ariane 5 rocket in late July and planning a future launch before Webb.
The July launch was the first launch of Ariane 2020 since August 5.
Webb, an international program run by NASA with partners ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency, will launch an Ariane 5 from the European Space Port in French Guiana on the northeastern coast of South America.
ESA provides Ariane 5.
The highly complex space telescope is now at the California facilities in a final and packaged form.
“Webb is an exemplary mission that highlights the essence of perseverance,” said Gregory L. Robinson, Webb's program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “I am inspired by our dedicated team and global partnerships that made this incredible effort possible. Together we have overcome technical hurdles along the way and challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. I am also grateful for the steadfast support of Congress. Now that we have an observatory and a rocket ready to launch, I look forward to the big day and the great science to come.”
The Webb crew prepares for shipping operations where the observatory will go through final closing procedures and pack for its journey to the launch site. The main elements of the Ariane 5 rocket that will carry Webb into space have arrived safely from Europe to Kourou, French Guiana.
The Webb telescope's revolutionary technology will explore every phase of cosmic history. It will examine everything from our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe and everything in between.
Webb will uncover new and unexpected discoveries and help humanity understand the origin of the universe and our place in it.