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James Webb will be the “show to watch in 2021”



Ariana 5
Ariane-5 is about to end its 24 years of operation

If the outstanding rocket launch in 2020 is the flight that returns American astronauts to orbit from American soil, then the major rocket event in 2021

must be the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The successor to the mighty Hubble Observatory is scheduled to enter orbit on October 31.

Its mission is to detect the first stars to glow in the universe.

The launch vehicle will be the ancient European Ariane-5 launch vehicle.

This is part of a deal for the European Space Agency (Esa) to participate in a telescope project led by NASA (Nasa).

By providing launch rockets and some instruments, Esa ensures that European astronomers can use the new telescope once it is put into use.

The main tank Ariane-5 is about to end his career. Only eight expendable vehicles remain, one of which is reserved for this special flight.

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JWST will be the single most valuable payload launched by Ariane

Over the years, Ariane-5 has launched many important payloads, but none have invested a lot of time, energy and money on it.

JWST will enter the launch pad of the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at a price of approximately US$10 billion. This is the cost of design and construction, plus the total amount set aside to run the observatory for five years.

“This task will be of “This is a mission in 2021,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, France.

“You know, our first contact with Esa and Nasa in 2002 was 18 years ago!”

JWST is currently undergoing final testing at California aerospace manufacturer Northrop Grumman.

“The first launch of equipment will arrive [French Guiana] Six months before launch. The satellite itself will weigh 6.6 tons and will arrive by boat eight weeks before launch. “

“JWST will be [technical] The facilities of our partner French Space Agency. The launch time will be 26 minutes, and you know that the final destination of the satellite will be the famous Lagrange Point. “

This destination is the gravitational “best spot” about 1.5 million kilometers from the earth. It is a position in the sun-earth system where the spacecraft can maintain its position by making relatively few orbit corrections, thereby saving fuel. This is also a place free from environmental disturbances observed by the observatory, such as intermittent shadows and temperature fluctuations.

Southwest University of Science and Technology
JWST must be folded to fit the top of the rocket

After coming out of the summit of Ariane, it will take several weeks for JWST to reach Lagrange point.

During this period, the telescope will undergo a series of key structural deployments, which will be folded during launch to make it suitable for the rocket.

These structures include JWST’s 6.5m wide mirror and its 21m x 14m diamond-shaped multilayer sun visor.

These are not the responsibility of Arianespace. Its only job is to make the flagship observatory safely leave the earth and into space.

Mr. Israël told BBC News: “We worked with Esa and Nasa to study the overall reliability of the Ariane-5 aircraft. Nasa has high requirements.


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