James Webb Space Telescope Launch Delayed Again; the due date is now December 18. The date that was being considered, although it was not yet fully confirmed, was October 31. Now, the telescope will have to wait until the last month of the year to cross the sky. But why has it been delayed this time?
The new date It is just not within the range set by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the launch of the James Webb; It ranged from mid-October to early December. Although it is a joint mission of NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), it is the European group that will carry out the launch from the Kurú spaceport, in French Guiana.
The launch is now scheduled for December 18 and will take place from the Kurú spaceport in French Guiana.
“We now know the day that thousands of people have been working for many years and that millions of people around the world eagerly await,” he said. Günther Hasinger, ESA science director, in an agency statement. “The James Webb telescope and its Ariane 5 launch vehicle are ready, thanks to the excellent work of all mission partners. We are looking forward to seeing the final preparations for the launch at the European spaceport.”
The problem is not the James Webb telescope
But what is the problem? The James Webb Space Telescope itself is not the problem; it is ready to leave from the United States, already assembled, to Kurú. The problem comes from the launch of Ariane 5, the ship that will take him into space. On July 30, the rocket was flying for the first time after almost a year without activity. And although there were no problems with the flight; they did see anomalies in the nose of the rocket, according to Space.com. Now, they will have to do a new flight at the end of this month to check that the arrangements they have made are adequate and that there are no surprises with the launch of the James Webb telescope.
It is not the first time that the launch of this telescope has been delayed. In fact, in space missions related to satellites, and even astronauts, it is normal that the dates can change. In fact, there was already a delay last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, James Webb is several years behind schedule, and researchers are eager to see him start doing science.
After launch, the Webb telescope will spend about a month traveling to reach the Lagrange point 2 (L2), the place from which you will observe the universe. This place is 1.6 million kilometers from Earth; so the trip will not be easy. The telescope weighs 6,200 kilos and will have cost 9,000 million dollars.
No matter how many delays there are in launching the James Webb Space Telescope because the science that it will do, if there are no mishaps to prevent it, will be fascinating. For both scientists and the general public.