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JWST launch rescheduled for 24th December

Credit: ©ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut

Edinburgh – 20 December 2021 – NASA and the ESA have rescheduled the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for 24th December due to a communication problem between the spacecraft and ground equipment.

JWST was placed on top of Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket over a week ago as part of launch preparations. The observatory was hoisted about 39 m, aligned on top of the rocket, and then bolted down. The operations required strict cleanliness and safety policies including a shower curtain between the platforms to keep them dirt-free. Before encapsulating the telescope inside the rocket’s fairing, the teams have encountered an interface issue in the electrical network.
The communication issue between the observatory and the launch vehicle system was caused by a cable. The wire, located in the launch table was “experiencing intermittent losses of data,” according to ESA. After the issue had been resolved, the aliveness test of the system went underway. JWST has since been successfully encapsulated inside the payload fairing with the final launch readiness review to be held tomorrow.
JWST, an international partnership between NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency, is the largest, most powerful telescope to be launched into space.

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