The James Webb Space Telescope has finally arrived in French Guiana, from where it will leave for space next December.
That’s it: after more than twenty years of hard work, the space telescope James Webb has finally arrived in French Guiana. This technological gem, announced successor to the illustrious Hubble, will first be taken to the Kourou site, where the launch pad is located.
This safe arrival punctuates a period of intense stress for the NASA teams. Indeed, they spent an entire month at folding, conditioning, harnessing and preparing the telescope for his big trip. An eminently important step, where the slightest negligence could have ruin years of preparation. The beast then took its place in a specialized box, with its own controlled climate, to avoid the slightest deterioration during its journey.
The arrival in French Guiana is therefore excellent news, knowing that the course of the telescope was not easy. If it is not just 16 days spent at sea; Originally, NASA hoped to be able to launch from 2007, 15 years ago. But after many deadlines and budget overruns, quite predictable in this industry, the project ended up considerably delayed. It was therefore a great relief that the NASA teams felt when they saw the JWST dock in Guyana.
“Its arrival at the launch site is a major milestone”Says Gregory Robinson, program director at NASA. “He will now undertake his final rocket trip, hundreds of thousands of kilometers from Earth. It will capture stunning images of the first galaxies in the early universe, which we are sure will transform our knowledge of the cosmos.”, He enthuses.
The countdown begins
From now on, he will wait on the site for a few more weeks before the fateful hour of his great departure to space. Until then, NASA teams will be carrying out the last checks. For example, they will ensure that mirrors of the main reflector will be absolutely immaculate. No question of having without the slightest wandering particle that could disrupt its operation.
Because once the telescope is operational, it is these panels that will have to fulfill a very important mission. It is they who will be in charge of collect light from the far reaches of the cosmos; indeed, this instrument will be able to observe much further than any instrument ever produced by man. “It will capture the light produced during the Big Bang, and will allow us to look 13 billion years back”Enthuses Bill Nelson, chief administrator of NASA.
In barely two months, this jewel of technology will therefore begin to shower us with revolutionary data and sublime images. And after years of waiting, we imagine that these last weeks will be interminable for the astronomers of the project. And we understand them; after all, they’re only weeks away from reaping the rewards of two decades of effort. Rendezvous on December 18th to witness its great departure… and the beginning of a new era for world astronomy.