The telescope will take off tomorrow, in the middle of Christmas dinner, the opportunity to talk about astronomy and science with the family.
Tomorrow is Christmas, the opportunity to get together with family to celebrate the end of the year holidays. Often the same debates come up over and over again at the table, and once again this year, the pandemic with in particular the question of vaccination will be essential. So in order to save you one more meal listening to your uncles selling you a prefect view of life and society, this is a subject that could occupy debates and minds, when it comes time to sit down to dinner.
It seems they did it on purpose for us, but the engineers from NASA and ESA, in charge of launching the James Webb Space Telescope, have indeed planned to start it at 1:30 p.m. French time. . While everyone will be seated at the table, it will therefore be possible to follow a real moment in history, in the history of space exploration.
Because the launch of the James Webb telescope is by no means a trivial task. Conceived in the early 2000s, planned for 2009, almost abandoned in 2011, the mission is a feat of engineering and proof that in space, everything is a question of patience.
James Webb sets out to revolutionize our knowledge of the Universe
While the 1990 launch of the Hubble Space Telescope piqued the curiosity of many, the launch of JWST is predicted with much more certainty. The latter should therefore take place tomorrow around 1:30 p.m. French time, from the European launch pad in Kourou.
The telescope will leave Earth aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, also European, for a journey of 29 days and more than a million kilometers. Once arrived at destination, serious things can begin, and the Universe will deliver its secrets one by one to the telescope’s immense primary mirror.
In order to follow this moment in the best possible way, the easiest way is still to connect to the ESA site which offers a live commentary broadcast of the satellite launch. NASA’s YouTube channel also created a date for the occasion.