Science

NASA Delays The Launch Of James Webb Space Telescope Due To Technical Error

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which was planned to be launched on December 22, 2021, has been postponed. The JWST that took over 20 years to build, cost NASA roughly $10 billion. As stated in a blog update by the agency, a communications error has been discovered by the engineers. This error is said to be between the observatory and the launch vehicle system of the telescope. However, Thomas Zurbuchen, who’s the associate admin of the science mission directorate of NASA, states that it may be a ground support issue. As reported by the New York Times, scientists and astronomers are extremely terrified that something might go wrong with the launch which is scheduled in late December.

James Webb Space Telescope

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the legendary Hubble Space Telescope. The whole world has been greatly anticipating the launch of the massive telescope for many years. However, in the past few years, its inauguration has been pushed back multiple times. JWSP is scheduled to be launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana no earlier than December 24, 2021. It will be sent to space aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.

Last month, technicians were mounting the structure to the launch vehicle adapter of the rocket. This was when they discovered the shocking and unexpected glitch. Simplifying the latest technical error, Thoman Zurbuchen states: “Basically, the data cables are dropping out of frame.”

James Webb Space Telescope
Source – NASA/Chris Gunn

Once in space, JWSP is required to deploy a giant mirror consisting of numerous hexagonal pieces. This process will take up to six months, leaving the entire astronomy community in anxiety.

Martin Rees, a Cambridge University astronomer, states that any failure of JWST will prove catastrophic for NASA. However, if deployed successfully, it will surely define a new era in astronomy.

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