Launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Delayed After “Incident”

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

The launch readiness date for the James Webb Space Telescope is moving to no earlier than December 22 to allow for additional testing of the observatory, following a recent incident that occurred during Webb’s launch preparations.

The incident occurred during operations at the satellite preparation facility in Kourou, French Guiana, performed under Arianespace overall responsibility. Technicians were preparing to attach Webb to the launch vehicle adapter, which is used to integrate the observatory with the upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket. A sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band – which secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter – caused a vibration throughout the observatory.

A NASA-led anomaly review board was immediately convened to investigate and instituted additional testing to determine with certainty the incident did not damage any components. NASA and its mission partners will provide an update when the testing is completed at the end of this week.

Webb was previously scheduled to launch on December 18 on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou.

The Webb Space Telescope is an international partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies. It will explore every phase of cosmic history – from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between. Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries, and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

9 Comments on "Launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Delayed After “Incident”"

  1. I told you guys they were gonna wreak it so it can never be launched. Billions wasted again by Astronomers. Astronomers BTW that waste every dollar they are given. They’ll never be able to see far enough or in enough spectrum’s to figure anything out. Infants trying to rig an Air force F-22. Stop giving them cash you dumb *sses.

    • Edward Armstrong | November 24, 2021 at 4:32 am | Reply

      Another science denier and another conspiracy theory. Who knew?

      • Yep. Whenever anyone uses an apostrophe to create a plural (let alone not knowing that the plural of spectrum is spectra) you know they got off the education train many years before the rest of us…

  2. Might want to rethink attaching it to a rocket if a vibration is this much of a concern. 🙂

  3. I hope it is fully functional after launch and deployment. So much can go wrong and we won’t be able to repair it once in place at the L2 Lagrange Point. Also, it’s 10 yr lifespan doesn’t really make it a replacement for the Hubble. Will we actually learn something from the data that comes back or just have more unanswered questions regarding our place in the universe?

  4. Here we go again…😂🎶

  5. William English | November 24, 2021 at 5:08 am | Reply

    Why are they launching it to start with? Should be launched
    from the USA to start with.

  6. They’re launching from French Guiana because U.S. rockets are not big enough to handle the size of JWST is in its launch shroud. Expected vibrations have been tested for. Unexpected vibrations might cause anomalies that need to be hunted down.

  7. I’m a science denier using my smart phone and internet to dump all over this James Webb telescope. Later I’m going to the store in my vehicle to buy microwave popcorn so I have something to snack on while sitting in my climate controlled home and watching my big screen T.V.

    Praise Jeebus

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