NASA James Webb Space Telescope Launch Delayed Again – Waiting on Ariane 5 Rocket Readiness

James Webb Space Telescope Artist's Impression

The James Webb Space Telescope is a space observatory to see further into the Universe than ever before. It is designed to answer outstanding questions about the Universe and to make breakthrough discoveries in all fields of astronomy. Webb will observe the Universe’s first galaxies, reveal the birth of stars and planets, and look for exoplanets with the potential for life. Closer to home, Webb will also look at our own Solar System in new light. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the premier observatory of the next decade, remains on schedule for a launch readiness date no earlier than October 31, 2021.

Webb will ship to the launch site in August with little to no schedule margin; launch processing will take two months. The observatory has completed all the post-environmental testing deployments, and it is in its final integration and folding stages. Final stow, closeout, and pack and ship are imminent. We are working closely with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace on establishing the launch date. We will launch approximately four months after the first launch of the Ariane 5 this year, which is scheduled for late July. Webb has no launch date constraints; hence, it can launch almost any day of the year.

Webb will study every phase in the history of our universe, including the first luminous glows after the creation of the cosmos, the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, and the evolution of our own solar system.

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