The James Webb space telescope is making you really want to. In fact, over the course of his life, the instrument has been postponed several times over the years… until he doubts his survival. Fortunately, the telescope was built, but its launch date was postponed.
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced a postponement of six weeks of “sun”: the observatory will be launched – most likely – on 18 December. “Webb and his Ariane 5 launch vehicle are ready, thanks to the excellent work done by all the mission partners. We look forward to the latest preparations for the launch of the European spaceport,” said Günther Hasinger, ESA’s scientific director.
Before the postponement the launch date was 31 October, although it had long been said that the fateful day would already be postponed (do we also have to worry about human missions to the Moon?). The observatory has also not yet been sent to the place where it will fly to space, to the ESA launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
Once launched, the James Webb telescope will take about a month to travel 1.5 million kilometers its destination: the second point of Lagrange; this is a relatively stable orbit on the opposite side of the Earth compared to the Sun. In this place, the instrument will remain well shielded from the heat of the Sun, allowing it to perform its operations to the maximum.
We should wait a little longer for both the launch and the first scientific operations, as the instruments will be activated after 2-3 months after arrival in the space and the operations will officially start after about 6 months.