Deep space exploration

NASA scientists prepare the James Webb Space Telescope for deep space exploration ahead of December launch

By NASA // September 9, 2021

nasa and space news

NASA plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit on December 18, 2021, to serve as the first deep space observatory for the next decade. (NASA picture)

The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch on December 18, 2021 from Kourou, French Guiana, aboard an Ariane 5.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — NASA plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit on December 18, 2021, to serve as the premier deep-space observatory for the next decade.

The agency set the new target launch date in coordination with Arianespace after Webb recently successfully completed its rigorous testing program – a major milestone for the mission.

The new date also follows Arianespace’s successful launch of an Ariane 5 rocket in late July and planning for a launch that will precede Webb. The July launch was the first for an Ariane 5 since August 2020.

Webb, an international program led by NASA with its partners the ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency, will launch on an Ariane 5 from the European Spaceport in French Guiana on the northeast coast of America from South.

ESA provides Ariane 5.

The highly complex space telescope currently rests in its final storage configuration at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Redondo Beach, California. (NASA picture)

The highly complex space telescope currently rests in its final storage configuration at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Redondo Beach, California.

“Webb is an exemplary mission that signifies the epitome of perseverance,” said Gregory L. Robinson, Webb program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“I am inspired by our dedicated team and our global partnerships that have made this incredible undertaking possible. Together we overcame technical hurdles along the way as well as challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. I am also grateful for the unwavering support of Congress. Now that we have an observatory and a rocket ready to launch, I look forward to the big day and the amazing science to come.

The Webb team is preparing for shipping operations, during which the observatory will undergo final closing and packing procedures for its journey to the launch site. (NASA picture)

The Webb team is preparing for shipping operations, during which the observatory will undergo final closing and packing procedures for its journey to the launch site.

The main elements of the Ariane 5 rocket that will carry Webb into space have arrived safely in Kourou, French Guiana, from Europe.

The groundbreaking Webb Telescope technology will explore all phases of cosmic history – from the interior of our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies of the early universe, and everything in between. Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS