How to watch the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope

Webb Space Telescope awaiting launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.

Webb Space Telescope awaiting launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.
Photo: ESA / CNES / Arianespace

After decades of waiting, the Webb Space Telescope is finally ready to go. You can watch this historic launch live here.

For years now, I’ve had to point out the “next” James Webb Space Telescope and make promises about how this $10 billion observatory, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), will fundamentally change the One day our view of the universe. For me, the experience of writing this How to Watch post is nothing short of surreal, and I can hardly believe it’s happening. But it’s true – the wait seems to be finally over, with Webb crammed over a rocket and staring up at the sky.

The space telescope is scheduled to launch at 7:20 AM EDT (4:20 AM PST) Christmas morning from the Guyana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The Ariane 5 missile will lift heavy loads, and take off from the ELA-3 launch complex. The 32-minute launch window for today will end at 7:52AM ET (4:52AM PT).

NASA TV will provide a rocket refueling update at 3:00 AM EST (12:00 AM PT), but the real show starts at 6:00 AM EST (3:00 AM PT) . A live broadcast of the launch will be provided on NASA TVAnd Youtube, and on ESA WEB TV ONE. Or you can stay here and follow the action in the feed provided below.

The European Space Agency will also broadcast on French And Spanish. A continuous stream of updates will appear in Facebook social networking siteAnd Twitter, And TwitchAs long as you have an internet connection, that’s fine. NASA’s post-launch press conference is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM EST (6:00 AM PT), as well as on NASA TV.

The launch will be exciting – and totally nerve-wracking – but also the first hour of the mission. Webb will need to deploy his solar panels and perform a course-correction maneuver as the spacecraft begins its one-month journey to Lagrangian Point II (a gravitationally stable spot about a million miles from Earth). The next steps will include a Complex series of deployments and calibrationsWebb is expected to enter the science phase of his mission in about six months.

Webb is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built. The infrared observatory was supposed to be launched in 2007, but technical and budgetary obstacles, among other things, led to the delay. Astronomers will use the telescope to observe the first galaxies of the universe, investigate the birthplaces of stars and planets, and survey the atmospheres of distant worlds. The mission is supposed to last at least five years, but the goal is for Webb to last 10 years.

more: Here’s what could happen with the Webb Space Telescope.

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