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James Webb Space Telescope being readied for launch

20 Oct 2021, 17:00 UTC
James Webb Space Telescope being readied for launch
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The James Webb Space Telescope arrives in the clean room in French Guiana in preparation for launch after traveling some 5,800 miles by sea from California. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
After more than two decades of development, NASA’s ambitious James Webb Space Telescope is finally at the launch site being prepared for its trip into space.
The Webb telescope is slated to launch atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Space Agency’s spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff is scheduled for 7:10 a.m. EDT (12:10 UTC) Dec. 18, 2021.
The telescope arrived intact Oct. 12, 2021, at Pariacabo harbor in French Guiana after traveling from California aboard the MN Colibri and sailing through the Panama Canal.
To ensure a safe passage for the ship, the shallow waters of the Kourou River were dredged prior to the transport’s arrival during high tide.
The telescope arrives at French Guiana aboard the MN Colibri on Oct. 12, 2021. Credit: 021 ESA-CNES-Arianespace/Optique vidéo du CSG – JM Guillon
Next up for the ESA-NASA collaboration include teams of processing technicians performing check-outs of systems on the James Webb Space Telescope after its trip on the MN Colibri and loading the spacecraft’s propellant tanks with ...

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