The take-off, which was scheduled for Friday, could now take place on Saturday, December 25.
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James Webb still has to wait. The most powerful space telescope ever designed will not take off on Friday, December 24 as expected, NASA said in a statement on Tuesday. The start “is rejected” because “bad weather conditionsThe agency explained. A new attempt could take place on Saturday, Christmas Day, as soon as possible within a shooting window open between 12:20 p.m. and 12:52 p.m. GMT (between 1:20 p.m. and 1 p.m. 52 French time).
“Tomorrow evening, a new weather report will be published to confirm the date of December 25”, NASA said. The telescope is currently housed in a building in Kourou (French Guiana), from where it must take off on board an Ariane 5 rocket.
This is the third time the launch has been postponed due to minor issues. The first was linked to an incident that occurred during the preparations for the telescope at the end of November, and the second to a communication problem with the ground system. “Thank you to the teams (…) who are working overtime to ensure a safe launch” at the telescope, wrote on Twitter NASA chief Bill Nelson shortly after the announcement of the new postponement.
“This is an extraordinary mission. A shining example of what we can accomplish when we dream big. Webb will transform our view of the Universe.”Bill Nelson, head of NASA
in press conference
Presented as the successor of the Hubble telescope, launched in 1990, James Webb must explore until the early ages of the Universe. It will be placed in orbit around the Sun, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.