NASA postpones launch of James Webb Telescope due to bad weather

The James Webb Space Telescope is finally ready for launch after 14 years of development. NASA agreed to review its readiness for launch and gave it the green light for the launch, which was supposed to take place on December 24. Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions prompted the agency to delay its launch again. James Webb will launch from the European Spaceport in French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket with the new target date of December 25 and the launch window between 7:20 AM and 7:52 AM ET.

This is the closest telescope it has ever launched on its month-long journey toward its destination. It’s been delayed several times in the past for one reason or another — NASA targeted an October launch date after its development was delayed by the pandemic, but decided the telescope wouldn’t be ready until November or December.

Then NASA (and its partners, the European and Canadian space agencies) targeted the launch date of December 18, before turning it back on December 22. James Webb’s team needed extra time to check the telescope and make sure nothing was damaged during an accident during testing. Its launch was postponed to December 24 after that due to a communication problem between the telescope and the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. This time, NASA actually held a press conference in which it confirmed that the telescope was ready for launch before announcing the new target date.

After the James Webb Telescope reaches orbit near the second Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system, researchers around the world will be able to use it to look at some of the first galaxies in the universe, look at black holes and assess the habitability of exoplanets. . NASA will confirm the new launch date this evening.

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