The launch of the James Webb Telescope is not only the last major scientific and technological milestone of the yearIt is also the first of a decade full of what will be dozens of new astronomical discoveries. And with it, much more than a new telescope reaches Earth orbit: a new way of looking at space arrives.
Because, all eyes are on the Kourou spaceport, in French Guiana. After several cancellations due to technical problems and bad weather, the chosen date will finally be December 25 at the following times (according to regions):
- Spain: between 1:20 pm and 1:52 pm peninsular time, (12:20 and 12:52 in the Canary Islands).
- Kourou, French Guayana [lugar de lanzamiento]: between 09:20 and 09:52
- Mexico, Colombia, Cuba and Ecuador: between 06:20 and 06:52.
- Chile and Argentina: between 08:20 and 08:52.
What we hope to see
The James Webb space observatory has cost more than 10 billion dollars and, if all goes well, it will enter solar orbit 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. This is precisely what makes the launch more important than on other occasions because, unlike Hubble, this distance will prevent it from being repaired in the event of a breakdown. Which makes it especially powerful for observing space, makes it especially sensitive to problems during the mission.
The joint NASA / ESA / Canadian Space Agency telescope has now been cleared for launch and the launch readiness review was successfully completed on December 21. It only remains to hope that everything is going well and that the weather is good, to see the Ariane 5 leave Guyana and start the last part of the process.
100 times more powerful than the legendary Hubble, it will take a few months to start operating as planned, but when it does it will offer us amazing images and will allow you to take an incredible time travel.
Image | NASA-ESA