World's largest space telescope arrives in French Guiana ahead of December launch

The James Webb Space Telescope will now be transported to its launch site, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, where it will begin two months of operational preparations before its launch on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in December.


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 13-10-2021 09:09 IST | Created: 13-10-2021 09:09 IST
World's largest space telescope arrives in French Guiana ahead of December launch
Webb features a primary mirror made of 18 separate segments, a tennis court-sized five-layer sunshield, cameras, spectrometers, cryocooler and other instruments and technologies. Image Credit: Twitter (@NASAWebb)
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NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the world's largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built, has successfully arrived in French Guiana after a 16-day sea voyage, the U.S. space agency said on Tuesday. The telescope is targeted for launch on December 18, 2021.

The 5,800-mile sea journey, which represents the final leg of its long and earthbound travels over the years, took the telescope from California via the Panama Canal to Port de Pariacabo on the Kourou River in French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope will now be transported to its launch site, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, where it will begin two months of operational preparations before its launch on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in December.

"Webb has crossed the country and travelled by sea. Now it will take its ultimate journey by rocket one million miles from Earth, to capture stunning images of the first galaxies in the early universe that are certain to transform our understanding of our place in the cosmos," said Gregory Robinson, Webb's program director at NASA Headquarters.

Webb features a primary mirror made of 18 separate segments, a tennis court-sized five-layer sunshield, cameras, spectrometers, cryocooler and other instruments and technologies.

The James Webb Space Telescope will explore every phase of cosmic history - ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of solar systems - and will help search for signs of potential habitability among the thousands of exoplanets scientists have discovered in recent years.

The Webb mission is an international collaboration between NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

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