An ‘incident’ with the James Webb Space Telescope delays launch
The James Webb Space Telescope has incurred another delay and is now set to launch from French Guiana no earlier than Dec. 22, 2021.
Launch of the $10 billion telescope was originally slated for Dec. 18, 2021.
According to NASA, as technicians were preparing for the attachment of the telescope to the launch vehicle adapter, a clamp band needed to secure Webb to the launch vehicle adapter spontaneously released.
“The incident occurred during operations at the satellite preparation facility in Kourou, French Guiana, performed under Arianespace overall responsibility” NASA said in a Nov. 22, 2021, update.
The unscheduled release of the clamp band caused a vibration throughout the observatory which immediately triggered a NASA-led review board to convene to investigate the anomaly.
When the James Webb Space Telescope is launched into space atop an Ariane 5 rocket, it’ll be secured to the upper stage via a launch vehicle adapter.
NASA, in partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies, is expected to post its findings once the space telescope has undergone testing to ensure the incident did not harm or damage any components.
The James Webb Space Telescope will sent to the L2 Earth-Sun Lagrange point, which is a location about 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth.
According to NASA, using a sunshield to protect the observatory from light and heat, it’ll be able to view objects ranging from objects in the solar system to the farthest observable galaxies in order to explore every phase of our cosmic history.
The telescope is expected to provide new and unexpected discoveries relating to the origin of the universe and our place in it.
Video courtesy of NASA
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.