Christmas Launch Now for the James Webb Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope ready for a Christmas launch.
James Webb Space Telescope is made ready for a Christmas Dayt launch. (ESA)

Baltimore, MD-(ENEWSPF)- Weather is nudging the James Webb Space Telescope from December 24 to a Christmas Day launch. NASA and Arianespace successfully completed the Launch Readiness Review for the James Webb Space Telescope on Dec. 21. The team authorized the Ariane 5 rocket carrying Webb to rollout and the start of launch sequencing for the mission.

However, due to adverse weather conditions at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, the flight VA256 to launch Webb – initially scheduled for Dec. 24 – is being postponed.

The new targeted launch date is Dec. 25, Christmas, as early as possible within the following launch window:

  • Between 7:20 a.m. and 7:52 a.m. Washington
  • Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:52 a.m. Kourou
  • Between 12:20 p.m. and 12:52 p.m. Universal (UTC)
  • Between 1:20 p.m. and 1:52 p.m. Paris
  • Between 9:20 p.m. and 9:52 p.m. Tokyo

Tomorrow evening, another weather forecast will be issued in order to confirm the date of December 25. The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and Webb are in stable and safe conditions in the Final Assembly Building.

This international effort has been two decades in the making and required the invention of at least ten new technologies to finally bring it to this point.

Teams at the launch site successfully completed encapsulation of the observatory inside the Ariane 5 rocket that will launch it to space. Webb’s final launch readiness review will be held on Tuesday Dec. 21 and, if successful, roll-out is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 22.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the world’s premier space science observatory when it launches in 2021. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

This video is excellent, made before the move to a Christmas launch.

This article is courtesy NASA.GOV.