NASA has been working on its James Webb Space Telescope for quite a long time now. Its launch has been undergoing delays one after the other. However, now, the date of the launch is finalized, and it is hoped that no other issue will occur this time to postpone the launch. The fueling of the observatory for the launch will begin soon as the engineering teams did not find any signs of damage from an incident last week.
What happened last week was that the technicians were attaching the telescope to the launch vehicle adapter when a clamp band released suddenly and unexpectedly. This sent vibrations through the observatory. NASA’s review board decided that this asked for additional testing to be done to make sure that no damage was done in this incident. That is why the launch date was transferred from December 18 to “no earlier than” December 22.
The review board suggested additional testing is completed now, and it was revealed no damages were inflicted. Therefore, NASA announced the exact date and timing of the launch as there were no further reservations. The telescope will be launched on December 22 at 7:20 am EST. The observatory is currently being fueled ahead of launch.
It is natural to think if this is going to get delayed as well, given the previous recurrent delays in the launch. However, this time it is final and with 100 percent surety that the launch will occur. Once it is set up in space, it will study the cosmos deeply with its infrared eyes, searching for clues to some of the most profound mysteries of the universe.
The main objective of this telescope is to thoroughly examine the earliest stars and galaxies present in our universe. This will help us understand how the galaxies have evolved with the passage of time and how stars and planetary systems are born in dusty clouds, and what the composition of exoplanet atmospheres is like. That last point could even reveal biosignatures of extraterrestrial life.