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posted by janrinok on Tuesday November 30 2021, @01:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-more-things-that-go-'bump'-in-the-night dept.

https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/launch.html

Webb's launch date is set for December 22, 2021 07:20 EST.

Launch Vehicle

The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission. The Ariane 5 is one of the world's most reliable launch vehicles capable of delivering Webb to its destination in space. The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to provide an Ariane 5 launcher and associated launch services to NASA for Webb.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-59419110

The telescope will be able to see just about anything in the sky. However, it has one overriding objective - to see the light coming from the very first stars to shine in the Universe.

These pioneer stars are thought to have switched on about 100-200 million years after the Big Bang, or a little over 13.5 billion years ago.

Webb will be picking out groupings of these stars. They are so far away, their light - even though it moves at 300,000km (186,000 miles) per second - will have taken billions of years to travel the cosmos.

It should be possible for Webb to see (or least detect a faint glow from) the moment when the darkness ended and those first stars flickered into life.

https://earthsky.org/space/james-webb-telescope-hubble-successor-to-launch/

Countdown resumes for December 22 launch

[...] NASA said today that engineering teams have completed additional testing confirming the James Webb Space Telescope is ready for flight. And that means launch preparations are resuming. The Webb's target launch date is now, officially, December 22 at 7:20 a.m. EST (00:20 UTC). NASA said in a statement:

Additional testing was conducted this week to ensure the observatory's health following an incident that occurred when the release of a clamp band caused a vibration throughout the observatory.

On Wednesday, November 24, engineering teams completed these tests, and a NASA-led anomaly review board concluded no observatory components were damaged in the incident. A "consent to fuel" review was held. And NASA gave approval to begin fueling the observatory. Fueling operations will begin Thursday, November 25, and will take about 10 days.

See also: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/11/james-webb-space-telescope-cleared-for-late-december-launch/ suggested by Mockingbird


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday November 30 2021, @03:16PM (5 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday November 30 2021, @03:16PM (#1200871) Journal

    We knew a decade ago that there were hundreds of parts on JWST that could fail and supposedly kill the mission. We'll know if it succeeded within a few months.

    If it does fail, I think we'll see a robotic mission to fix it. Or heads will roll.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30 2021, @03:38PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30 2021, @03:38PM (#1200878)

    Mod+ Insightful

    Indeed, they should be making a robotic ambulance which can be deployed for rescue missions for any future or existing equipment.
    It can stay in orbit to rendezvous with necessary mission objects like spare fuel or spare parts and then carry out repairs robotically similar to controlling Mars rovers.

    Can even have a port for plugging into to get information.
    Something like the Squidies on the Matrix if we want to fantasize.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday November 30 2021, @03:49PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday November 30 2021, @03:49PM (#1200879) Journal

      They want at least 5 years out of JWST, but it's built to last up to 10 years. The limiting factor is propellant to keep it at L2, after which it would just drift away from Earth while continuing to orbit the Sun, and become lost. Even if there is nothing to fix, they should consider a refuel, although it's not specifically designed to be serviced like Hubble was.

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    • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by janrinok on Tuesday November 30 2021, @04:10PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 30 2021, @04:10PM (#1200886) Journal

      If you log in you will not have to ask others to moderate according to your own personal whims.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday November 30 2021, @04:56PM (1 child)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday November 30 2021, @04:56PM (#1200898)

      Indeed, they should be making a robotic ambulance which can be deployed for rescue missions for any future or existing equipment.

      In addition to being compatible with technology that hasn't been invented yet, will it be sentient and able to cook me an omelette?

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      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday November 30 2021, @05:52PM

        by Freeman (732) on Tuesday November 30 2021, @05:52PM (#1200912) Journal

        In the event the answer is no to both of those, what did they spend the $9B+ dollars on?

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