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.