NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to be launched in October 2021

Published: July 17, 2020

NASA has announced that it has postponed the planned launch of its next great space observatory, the James Webb Telescope, from March 2021 to October 2021. The reason has been cited as the COVID 19 pandemic going on in the world apart from some technological challenges. The organization had to take this call owing to augmented safety precautions, reduced on-site personnel, disruption to shift work and also other technical challenges to the mission.

What is James Webb Telescope?

Webb is the next great space science observatory project by NASA and it is expected to help in solving the mysteries of the solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars and probing the mystifying structures and origins of the universe. It has been equipped with a 6.5 m primary mirror. The large size of the mirror, which is the largest built by the agency so far, was the biggest challenge for the team since it had to be fitted within a five-meter launch vehicle. The telescope can be folded in ‘origami-style’.

Once put into the orbit, the telescope will unfold its delicate five-layered sunshield until it reaches the size of a tennis court. It will then deploy its 6.5 m primary mirror that will detect the faint light from far-away stars and galaxies.

It is going to be the largest, most complicated and most powerful telescope ever launched into space.

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