James Webb: Designed to go into space on December 18, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), considered to be the most sophisticated space observation tool ever, will not be put into orbit until four days later. The reason, according to NASA, was an “incident” that occurred during launch preparations: the unexpected opening of a safety armband during the “packaging” of sophisticated equipment for the trip.
Awaiting its 1.5 million kilometer journey at the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana, the $10 billion (R$55.5 billion) rig was just being affixed to its launch adapter when the fastener came loose, carrying to concern that the event may have caused some mechanical impact on the telescope.
The US space agency released a statement on Tuesday, clarifying that “an anomaly review board” was formed to investigate and carry out additional tests to see to what extent the incident did not damage any component. According to NASA’s official blog, the engineers concluded on Thursday (24) the tests and confirmed that the JWST will be launched on December 22, at 9:20 am, Brasília time.
The trajectory of the James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope is the result of a partnership between the North American, European and Canadian agencies to place observation equipment in space to capture infrared radiation from objects with a weaker light or much more distant. When operational, it will be able to “see” all phases of cosmic history, from our solar system to the most distant galaxies at the beginning of the universe.
On its three-month journey to its final orbit, in the sector of space known as Lagrange Point L2, the JWST will “unfold” as a giant 6.5-ton origami, passing through several deployments, until it reaches its definitive configuration. . As L2 is beyond the orbit of the Moon, the equipment will not be able to be maintained, as was done with Hubble in several missions to exchange equipment.
With the launch confirmation, the “consent to fuel” protocol was approved by NASA and operations began on Thursday (25), and should last for ten days.