NASA had hoped to send the James Webb telescope into space before December 22, but its launch has once again been delayed. You’ve probably read several variations of that sentence by now if you’ve been following the observatory, as its launch has already been delayed multiple times. In an ad aware On the project’s official page, NASA said that James Webb’s team is working on a communication problem between the telescope and its Ariane 5 launch vehicle. As such, it will not launch before December 24.
The James Webb project has experienced numerous setbacks since development began in 1996, due to various reasons including over-budget and major redesigns. After testing was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA worked toward a launch on October 18, 2021. However, after testing by the agency and prime contractor Northrop Grumman, it was determined that the telescope would not be ready until November or December of this year. NASA previously announced a launch date of December 18, which was moved to December 22 after an unplanned release of a tether that secures James Webb to the launch vehicle adapter prompted a thorough check to make sure the telescope was not damaged.
If all goes according to plan this time around, December 24 is the earliest possible release date that could be scheduled. The telescope could be directed towards the second Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system later than Christmas Eve; NASA says it will reveal more details about its new target launch schedule on December 17. When he reaches his destination, James Webb will observe the universe with a sharper eye than Hubble, thanks to instruments that will allow him to see objects too old and too distant for the oldest telescope.
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