James Webb Telescope arrives in French Guiana for December launch

This Tuesday (12), the James Webb space telescope finally arrived in Guyana French. It took 12 days of sea travel and now the world’s largest and most complex space science observatory will be brought to the European Space Agency’s spaceport , in the city of Kourou. There, he will go through approximately 2 months of preparation for the release, scheduled for the day 2013 of December.

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  • Gregory Robinson, director of the James Webb program at NASA, celebrated the telescope’s arrival on the site. “We are very excited to finally be able to send the next big observatory into deep space,” he said. “Webb has already crossed the country and traveled by sea. Now, it will finally reach the end of its journey via rocket, more than 1 million kilometers from Earth, to capture incredible images of the first galaxies of the primordial universe that will surely transform our understanding of our place in the universe”, concluded .

    Check below a little of how the telescope was prepared for the trip:

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    The last sequence of testing the telescope was completed at the end of August, followed by the procedures to send it to the location of launch. James Webb’s team spent nearly a month preparing him for the trip in a custom container with controlled conditions. As early as late September, the telescope traveled from the Northrop Grumman facility to Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, where it was loaded onto the MN Colibri freighter to go to Kourou.

    MN Colibri left the site on September 26 and arrived at the Panama Canal on October 5th to, thus, continue the journey to Kourou. This journey represented the last leg of James Webb’s “adventures” on Earth. The telescope began to be assembled in 2013 and, in 2013, it was taken to the Johnson Space Center , in Houston, to undergo cryogenic testing. Back in 2013, Webb went to California, where it underwent three years of rigorous testing to ensure it was ready to operate in space.

    Once removed from the shipping container, engineers will perform final checks of the observatory’s condition, and it will be set up for flight. In this step, the Ariane 5 rocket will be fueled with propellant so that, later, the telescope is installed on its top for launch. Once operational, James Webb will be able to reveal more about the stages of cosmic history, including those that occurred shortly after the Big Bang, and will also help in the search for signs of habitability among the thousands of exoplanets already discovered.

    Source: NASA

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