James Webb Space Telescope Launch Postponed – Here’s Why and the New Launch Date


Webb Telescope L2 Flyby

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the next of NASA’s Great Observatories; following in the line of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. JWST combines qualities of two of its predecessors, observing in infrared light, like Spitzer, with fine resolution, like Hubble. Credit: NASA, SkyWorks Digital, Northrop Grumman, STScI

Webb safely encapsulated on top — is planned to begin the nearly two hour process of rolling out to the launch pad on December 22.

However, due to adverse weather conditions at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, the flight VA256 to launch Webb – initially scheduled for December 24 – is being postponed.

The new targeted launch date is December 25, as early as possible within the following launch window:

  • Between 7:20 a.m. and 7:52 a.m. Washington
  • Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:52 a.m. Kourou
  • Between 12:20 p.m. and 12:52 p.m. Universal (UTC)
  • Between 1:20 p.m. and 1:52 p.m. Paris
  • Between 9:20 p.m. and 9:52 p.m. Tokyo

This evening (December 22), another weather forecast will be issued in order to confirm the date of December 25. The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and Webb are in stable and safe conditions in the Final Assembly Building.





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