The Hubble Space Telescope has been through a lot of cosmic wonders, and it will soon be taken down by its operators from NASA and the ESA (European Space Agency). The next-generation James Webb Space Telescope will take its place, but once again, the launch will be delayed.
The previously planned date was this year on October 31, but luckily enough, the delay won’t last too long. Those willing to see the launch will only have to wait for a few weeks more, according to Engadget.com.
The launch is set most likely for November or early December
The question that stays on everybody’s mind is what will determine a new launch date for the future telescope. As NASA’s chief of science Thomas Zurbuchen reveals, after the phase of extensive testing, the space agency and the primary contractor Northrop Grumman will have to pack up the Webb telescope into a shipping container.
As you’ve already guessed, the ongoing COVID pandemic has affected plenty of operations from the spaceport. There are tests scheduled for July and August to ensure that things are fine with the Ariane 5 rocket that has the task to transport the James Webb Space Telescope. Even in the case of these tests, the possibility of delaying is there.
The James Webb Space Telescope will aim its gear towards the first galaxies that illuminated the Early Universe and take a better look at how stars are forming planetary systems. Countless cosmic mysteries could be revealed in this way, and the galaxies in question are almost as old as the Universe itself. According to observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based scientific instruments, the first galaxies took shape about one billion years after the Big Bang.