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Sat Jun 5, 2021, 02:10 AM

Webb Space Telescope launch delayed (earthsky.org)

Posted by
Lia De La Cruz
June 4, 2021

Rumors were swirling, and now it appears to be true. The James Webb Space Telescope – also known as JWST or simply the Webb – is coming up against yet another delay, albeit a small one in contrast to other delays and setbacks over the past two decades. European Space Agency representatives and Arianespace officials acknowledged at a briefing on June 1, 2021, that the launch of the Webb will likely slip from this coming October 31. According to SpaceNews, the cause of the delay is a grace period for team engineers to review payload fairing problems. The payload fairing is essentially the rocket’s nose cone. It’s the covering on top of the payload. The issue in this case is linked to the Ariane 5 rocket that’ll launch Webb, hopefully, now, in mid-November 2021.

During the briefing, Arianespace described the issue as “a less than fully nominal separation of the fairing” that occurred during two of its launches. In terms of rocketry, nominal means within expected and acceptable limits. Furthermore, Daniel de Chambure – acting head of Ariane 5 adaptations – said:
The qualification review has started, so we should be able to confirm all that within a few days or weeks.

Webb passed final testing in February

Space engineeers made significant progress in the development of the Webb earlier this year. In February 2021, two testing milestones – the comprehensive systems test and the ground segment test – confirmed that the observatory’s internal electronics are operating as intended. These tests also verified that it and its four science instruments can send and receive data.

The comprehensive systems test took place at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California, the industrial partner in the Webb project. Specifically, this test established a baseline of electrical functional performance for the entire observatory and all of the many components that work together in its composition. In other words, it’s the electrical version of the mechanical testing that successfully completed in October 2020.
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more: https://earthsky.org/space/james-webb-telescope-hubble-successor-to-launch/?utm_source=EarthSky+News

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