World’s Largest Space Telescope Can’t Catch a Break, Maybe Santa Can Change That

James Webb Space Telescope deployment simulation 7 photos
Photo: ESA
James Webb before meeting Ariane 5 rocketJames Webb before meeting Ariane 5 rocketJames Webb before meeting Ariane 5 rocketJames Webb before meeting Ariane 5 rocketJames Webb before meeting Ariane 5 rocketJames Webb before meeting Ariane 5 rocket
As far as space exploration efforts go, 2021 has been an extremely important year. Several big achievements, including the landing of a new rover on Mars, and the kickstart of what may very well be a full blown space tourism industry, have shaped the year, but also the ones ahead.
There is however one last hurdle to overcome, one that has proven a very tough nut to crack for more than a decade now: the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). And we call it hurdle because, well, that’s what this has become, after the initial launch deadline of 2007 came and went.

And so did some other deadlines, including the one the European Space Agency and NASA were planning for December 22. That didn’t happen, because of a data connection cable that was not working properly, and the launch was pushed to December 24. And now, this is not happening either, this time on account of bad weather.

The telescope is set to launch on top of an Ariane 5 rocket from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana, and the new date is now Christmas Day, provided nothing else happens in the meantime.

Now, don’t get us wrong, delays and postponements are not something we’re not used to in space exploration, but finally having Webb up there is something people have been expecting for too long. After all, work on it started in 1996, and over $10 billion have been spent on it so far.

With that in mind, having Webb depart Earth this year would be the coronation of what may very well have been the most exciting year for the industry, so, fingers crossed.

Once launched, Webb will have to position itself almost one million miles away from Earth, and use its most impressive mirror (6.5-meter/21.3-ft in diameter) to look way, way back into the Universe’s history.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories