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NASA is getting ready to launch the James Webb telescope3 min read

September 14, 2021 3 min read


NASA is getting ready to launch the James Webb telescope3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The James Webb Space Telescope has been in the pipeline for a long time but it is almost time for its launch!

Before we dive into more information, click on the picture below to know everything you need to know about the new hubble:

NASA has finally declared the date for the launch of the famous telescope. The telescope is set to be launched on December 18, 2021. This is not the first time that dates have been announced for the 10 billion USD telescope, but the newest date seems most doable. The new Hubble is all complete and ready to get out of launch site.

The work on this successor to Hubble started in the 90s. Originally, it was meant to cost 500 million USD. The dates and its cost jumped from 2007, to March 2021. The date was further pushed to October 31, but even that got pushed owing to the pandemic.

In August 2021, NASA announced that it had completed work on the telescope in entirety. All its components had been installed and tested. And it is ready to be packaged and sent to space! In December, the telescope will be launched from European Space Agency’s facility in French Guiana. Here, it will be mated with an Ariane 5 Rocket.

Webb has a long journey ahead of itself. Unlike Hubble that is in the low-Earth orbit, Webb will travel million miles away to the second Earth-Sun Lagrange point (L2).

The Lagrange points are points near two orbiting celestial bodies.
Spot L2 in the image, below:

Image: NASA

Here, it will unfurl it sunshield keeping its instruments cool. The distance will allow it to dig deeper into the infrared, more than Hubble ever could. The one big drawback is that the telescope is too far away in case of any maintenance issues, the kind that came up with Hubble (Read: What is the cause of the hubble telescope latest shutdown?).

Click on the image below to see the images taken by Hubble:

When it is up and ready, the Webb telescope will be the most powerful observatory in history!
Fingers crossed for December 18th!

Image: Giphy

With excerpts from Extreme Tech