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NASA Postpones James Webb Telescope Launch

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GREENBELT, Md., Nov. 25, 2021 — The launch readiness date for the James Webb Space Telescope is moving to no earlier than Dec. 22 to allow for additional testing of the observatory, following a recent incident that occurred during Webb’s launch preparations.
The James Webb Space Telescope inside the cleanroom at its launch site at Guiana Space Center, in French Guiana. Courtesy of NASA/Chris Gunn.
The James Webb Space Telescope inside the cleanroom at its launch site at Guiana Space Center, in French Guiana. Courtesy of NASA/Chris Gunn.

The incident occurred during operations at the satellite preparation facility in Kourou, French Guiana, performed under Arianespace overall responsibility. Technicians were preparing to attach Webb to the launch vehicle adapter, which is used to integrate the observatory with the upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket. A sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band — which secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter — caused a vibration throughout the observatory.

A NASA-led anomaly review board was immediately convened to investigate, and it instituted additional testing to assess whether the incident damaged any components.

Webb was previously scheduled to launch Dec. 18 on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou.

Photonics.com
Nov 2021
BusinessJames Webbspace telescopeJames Webb Space Telescopeoptics

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