NASA is gearing up for a huge event this fall featuring the James Webb Space Telescope. Recent challenge has seen the space telescope performing another key review, and it’s only a big step forward toward its planned mission.
Here is what you need to know.
The James Webb Space Telescope Gets Ready For Lunch
ESA announced that the $9.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope mission completed another significant review. The mission is now closer than ever to its big launch event.
“This major milestone, carried out with Arianespace, the Webb launch service provider, confirms that Ariane 5, the Webb spacecraft and the flight plan are set for launch,” proudly announced ESA on July 1.
The James Webb Space Telescope is mainly NASA’s mission. However, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and ESA, as well, are major partners.
The CSA, for example, is offering guidance for the telescope’s sensor and one of its scientific devices. On the other hand, ESA provides science gear and launch services, securing the Ariane 5 heavy lifter to send the telescope into space.
The Launch Event and Other Details
The much-awaited launch event will take place on October 31 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. According to NASA engineers, the liftoff is not actually expected to occur on Halloween.
Next, the telescope will fly to the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 2, approximately 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth, where its mission will begin.
The observatory’s 21.3-foot-wide (6.5 meters) main mirror and deployable sunshade – around the side of a tennis court – has to observe the cosmos in infrared light, which is genuinely intriguing. Its main goal is to examine the Universe’s most ancient galaxies and stars and search for any signs of life in the alien planets’ atmospheres.
NASA also expects that the James Webb Space Telescope will offer enough data to solve long-standing scientific puzzles of the cosmos.