NASA Is Preparing to Launch James Webb Space Telescope
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has completed its testing phase and is now being prepared to be shipped to its launch site.
Science & Tech
Following inevitable snags and delays, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) is getting closer and closer to its launch site and date, as the American space agency just confirmed it completed its final tests.
In a press release published on Thursday, August 26, NASA shared the news that its upcoming space telescope is getting ready to be shipped to its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Shipping preparations are set to be completed in September.
Webb is currently being prepped for its journey from its testing site at the Northrop Grumman facilities through the Panama Canal to French Guiana, where it'll be carefully checked over for any damages incurred during its travels. From there, engineers will mate the observatory to its launch vehicle, ESA's Ariane 5 rocket, before it's launched into space.
"NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has reached a major turning point on its path toward launch with the completion of final observatory integration and testing," said Gregory L. Robinson, Webb's program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
To ensure that Webb's complex space communications network functions as planned, Webb’s Mission Operations Center (MOC) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore will continuously check and recheck it before and during the shipment operations.
There's still a lot of preparation and checking to be done before we see Webb launch into space, but integration and testing are formally, and successfully, completed. The next major step in Webb's journey will be its launch and deployment.
Aside from Webb's capabilities, what's also impressive is the science observatory's team including thousands of scientists, engineers, and other professionals from more than 14 countries and 29 states.