James Webb Space Telescope reaches launch pad for Christmas liftoff
The James Webb Space Telescope is due to launch on Saturday (Dec. 25) during a 32-minute window that opens at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT). The massive observatory will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 rocket operated by European launch provider Arianespace. You can watch launch coverage live at Space.com beginning at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT) courtesy of NASA or you can watch directly at the agency's website.
ESA launch kit (PDF).
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Making it past the swirling swarm of space junk around our poor old planet is a big step. The things that Hubble brought us must be appreciated and not forgotten. Webb is the next stage, the next generation - decades on. I feel privileged to live to see the wonders this new instrument will show us about the universe.
Not really. Most of what is up there is easily avoided if you are just passing through. The trouble happens when you stay in near Earth orbit, because repeated near-misses means something will eventually hit.