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The area observatory will now begin two months of operational preparations prior to its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket. After launch, hopefully its next “stop” will be 1.5-million-kilometers (1 million miles) away at the 2nd Lagrange point (L2), after 30 days of travel, which includes the unfolding of the primary mirror and sunshield, along with switching on all the instruments.
JWSTs release timeline. Credit: ESA
Related: JWSTs 30 Days of Terror
” Webbs arrival at the launch site is a special event,” stated Gregory Robinson, Webbs program director at NASA Headquarters, in a declaration. Webb has crossed the country and taken a trip by sea.
The worlds biggest, most pricey space telescope has * not * been hijacked by pirates.What a time to be alive that I can compose that sentence. pic.twitter.com/XsI4gLL0AG— Paul Byrne (@ThePlanetaryGuy) October 12, 2021
A significant turning point was achieved today in the James Webb Space Telescopes journey towards launch. After the telescope effectively arrived in French Guiana the other day following a deceptive 16-day ocean journey (with apparently no pirates in sight), today the telescope took a brief road trip over land to the ESAs spaceport in Kourou.
Launch is currently scheduled for December 18, 2021 … T-66 days and counting!
At the spaceport, engineers will run final checks on the observatorys systems. Setting up the spacecraft for flight includes filling the propellants on JWST itself, before Webb is mounted on top of the rocket and confined in the fairing for launch.
When functional, Webb will reveal insights about all phases of cosmic history, recalling to the universes very first stars and galaxies, looking for indications of prospective habitability amongst the thousands of exoplanets that have been found in recent years, as well as focusing on things in our own Solar System.
A major turning point was attained today in the James Webb Space Telescopes journey towards launch. After the telescope effectively arrived in French Guiana the other day following a deceptive 16-day ocean journey (with obviously no pirates in sight), today the telescope took a short roadway journey over land to the ESAs spaceport in Kourou. JWST is now at the payload processing center, where personnel will begin the process of getting the telescope into the Ariane 5 rocket fairing.
” Webbs arrival at the launch website is a momentous celebration,” said Gregory Robinson, Webbs program director at NASA Headquarters, in a declaration.
JWST was delivered in a specially built French vessel called the MN Colibri, developed to transfer aerospace components, with the telescope inside a water-tight chamber the size of a football field. A specialized freight company, Rohde and Liesenfeld managed the transport, beginning with moving the container and telescope from Northrup Grummans centers, through Southern Californias freeway system to the ship, docked by Huntington Beach, CA.
JWST inside the specialized, airtight shipping container. Image courtesy Rohde and Liesenfeld.
The enormous clean air chamber was constructed so JWST would not be exposed to vibrations, any excessive G forces of acceleration and deceleration, the rolling or pitching on the water due to sea swell or wind, or extreme temperature levels.
The 9,300 km (5,800-mile) sea voyage took Webb from California through the Panama Canal to Port de Pariacabo on the Kourou River in French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America.