The James Webb telescope is now being brought to French Guiana in preparation for launch.
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KALIFORNIA — Space telescope James Webb finally finished designing after 20 years of delay. A ship carrying the US$10 billion James Webb Space Telescope left port in Southern California last weekend to embark on a nearly two-week voyage to Kourou, French Guiana.
In France, final preparations for launch will begin telescope James Webb on December 18, 2021. “The James Webb Space Telescope is complete,” said the head of the American Space Agency’s (NASA) Astrophysics Division, Paul Hertz in a presentation to the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee earlier this week. Space Flight Now, Friday (1/10).
The team has stopped working on the telescope and is now on its way to the launch pad to launch it on December 18. Program scientist NASA For the James Webb telescope, Eric Smith confirmed Wednesday that the observatory has left the United States after completing final testing at the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, California.
NASA is keeping specific timetable details of the observatory’s voyage secret for security reasons. The ship carrying the Webb telescope will cross the Panama Canal to cross from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, then complete the voyage to Kourou, French Guiana.
Smith said the mission manager had a 13-day deadline for Webb to be ready for launch December 18, 2021. The telescope will take off in mid-morning local time in French Guiana.
Next month, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will oversee the launch of the Ariane 5 rocket with the commercial communications satellite SES and the French military spacecraft. Webb’s scheduled launch date for December 18 depends on the successful outcome of the mission.
Webb is the successor to the Hubble space telescope. The Webb Telescope is a collaborative project between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. The total cost of the observatory is close to $10 billion, making Webb the most expensive and complex science mission ever launched.
One of the ESA’s contributions is the Ariane 5 rocket that will launch Webb towards its operating outpost nearly 1 million miles from Earth.
After launch, the observatory will begin a deployment sequence to expand the solar array, high gain antenna, and mirror segment. Webb also has a five-layer sun visor to shade his mirrors, detectors and science instruments. Its function is to keep the telescope cooler than minus 370 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 223 degrees Celsius.
Made of aluminum-coated kapton, each layer of sun visor is as thin as a human hair. The umbrella or sunshade will expand to the size of a tennis court once Webb is in space. The observatory’s infrared instruments will peer into the oldest and furthest reaches of the universe to study some of the first stars and galaxies to form after the Big Bang more than 13.5 billion years ago.