NASA has postponed the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which would be the successor to the Hubble. The space agency said the launch will be a day later than the previously allotted time on Christmas Day, December 25, from the Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana, where high winds are a major factor. An Ariane 5 rocket will launch the next-generation space observatory on Saturday. The $ 10 billion James Webb Space Telescope (around Rs 75,330 billion) is the largest space telescope ever built and is designed to assist astronomers in groundbreaking discoveries. It was designed to look deeper into the universe than the Hubble and see events from a further time – over 13.5 billion years ago.
The Hubble Space Telescope, currently the most powerful telescope in space, has provided astronomers with great insights for 30 years, but its aging and need for replacement have been felt. So NASA and ESA, who were also behind the Hubble project, decided to build an even bigger and more powerful telescope. The main difference between James Webb and Hubble is that it can see in the infrared. Scientists hope to use James Webb’s advanced skills to examine the atmospheres of distant planets for signs of life.
NASA said in a blog post this week that they are targeting a launch date on December 25th. A 32-minute launch window opens at 7:20 a.m. EST (5:50 p.m. IST), she added. A BBC report said mission pilots take into account high winds blowing in the wrong direction to prevent debris from falling back on land if launch fails. The ascent of the Ariane rocket is said to take 27 minutes.
James Webb will be deployed in space approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth and the journey should take a month. “This is an extraordinary mission … it will give us a better understanding of our universe and our place in it,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
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