Categories
Space

The launch of flagship James Webb Space Telescope postponed to August 31, 2021, by NASA

NASA has delayed the liftoff of James Webb Space Telescope to August 31 next year. The launch was to cost 9.8 billion, and was supposed to take place March of 2021, but delayed to August of the same year. The reasons behind the postponement of the launch are troubles and difficulties posed by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

In his speech, Thomas Zurbuchen, an associate commissioner of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, proclaimed that Webb is the most prominent space telescope in the whole world, which is also the most rated priority of the members. Despite the outbreak of a pandemic,  Zurbuchen team has been working to keep things in place by focusing on the accomplishment of their goals, especially the anticipated August launch of 2021. 

Last month, Zurbuchen confirmed that Webb would delay meeting the planned launch date of March 2021, and that is why it was postponed to August 31 of next year. The expected launch of Webb has faced several price tag overruns and failed plans since 2010. Back in 2009, the approximated cost of the mission had doubled, forcing the officials to postpone launch date to seven years ahead. 

As confirmed by NASA officials, the three months where Coronavirus pandemic had hit hard forced the organization to impose regulations of working from home as a way of protecting its members from the virus. Two months were to be used for working on the technology of Webb, for instance, observatory’s colossal and foldable sun protector. The other two months were planned for ‘program margin,’ giving more space to the operation on its way to loft pad. 

According to projections at hand, the program plans on completing unfinished work within the new schedule and without borrowing any extra funds. 

Webb has undergone full assemblage, and the telescope is presently undergoing several experiments that are being done at Redondo Beach in California (Northrop’s Facilities). After finishing general work, the rocket ship will be transported to Europe’s Spaceport, Kourou of French Guiana, where the launch will take place. 

Webb will loft on top of an Ariane 5 skyrocket, and later head to the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 2, a location of stable gravitational force, located 930,000 miles from Earth. The telescope will position its sun protector that is equivalent to the size of a tennis court. The telescope will detect the first generation of galaxies that formed in the early universe following the formation of Bing Bang. It will also explore the worlds of neighboring exoplanets to ascertain any possibility of life.