The launch of the most powerful James Webb space telescope ever designed was postponed again on Tuesday, this time due to weather conditions in Kourou, French Guiana, from where it is to take off aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.
The take-off, which was scheduled for Friday, could now take place on Saturday, December 25 – a real Christmas present for astronomers around the world, who have been waiting for this new observatory for three decades.
is pushed back because
bad weather conditionsNASA said in a statement.
The new target launch date is December 25, as soon as possible within an open firing window between 12:20 and 12:52 GMT.
Tomorrow evening, a new weather report will be published to confirm the date of December 25, NASA said. The rocket and the telescope are currently housed in a building.
This is the third time the launch has been postponed due to minor issues. The first was linked to an incident that occurred during the preparations for the telescope at the end of November, and the second to a communication problem with the ground system.
Thank you to the teams (…) who are working overtime to ensure a safe launch telescope, NASA chief Bill Nelson tweeted shortly after the new postponement was announced.
It is an extraordinary mission. A shining example of what we can accomplish when we dream big, he had congratulated himself.
Webb will transform our view of the Universe.
Webb is the start of an exciting new decade of science, for NASA and the entire international community, added Thomas Zurbuchen, director for scientific missions at NASA.
A highly complex engineering gem, this telescope was built in the United States under the direction of NASA, and includes instruments from European and Canadian space agencies.
Presented as the successor of the Hubble telescope, launched in 1990, it must explore until the early ages of the Universe.
It will be placed in orbit around the Sun, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.