After two decades passed and ballooning development costs NASA next generation space telescope has arrived in South America. The spacecraft site launch will happen later this year, its arrival sparks the beginning of weeks of final preparations before the telescope is loaded on the top of its rocket for flight. The telescope that is James Webb space can spend sixteen days at sea packed inside an environmentally controlled with custom shipping container abroad French cargo ship.
This telescope had been at Northrop since early 2018 and it was undergoing final assembly and testing. The new telescope in French Guiana and this spacecraft is closer than ever to its launch. It was originally proposed in 1996 and was supposed to launch in 2007 for the price of $1 billion. The project line was delayed various times and as the budget of the mission has increased to $9.7 billion. NASA sets a target launch date for December 18th 2021 and it is 14 years later than originally planned.
Different delays resulted from the problems that arose during testing of spacecraft. It has undergone a battery of tests and it including vibrational and cryogenic testing. It is to ensure that spacecraft can withstand, the intensity of launch and the harsh space environment. At the time of testing and assembly some screws came loose and valves leaked the engineers found tears in the spacecraft thin sunshield that is crucial for protecting the Telescope from overheating in direct view of Sun.
The NASA purposefully did not reveal the exact date for telescope and fears that, vessel carrying the spacecraft might be intercepted by pirates. There are plenty left to do before flight and the JWST does launch and it set to revolutionize astronomy. It allows the researchers to peer deeper into the cosmos than ever before. Massive gold plated Mirror spanning 25 feet in width and this telescope will be able to gather light from the Oldest objects in Universe and just formed after the Big bang.