NASA has postponed the launch of the web telescope until December 24. – Now space travel

NASA has postponed the launch of the web telescope until December 24.  - Now space travel
December 11 Ground teams at the Guyana Space Center connect the James Webb Space Telescope to the Ariane 5 launcher. Attribution: ESA-Manual Pedosaut

After connecting the James Webb Space Telescope to the launcher Ariane 5 in French Guiana over the weekend, engineers discovered that data related to a part of the ground support device was occasionally leaked. The head of NASA Science said Tuesday that the start of the long-awaited observatory will be delayed by at least two days until December 24 to investigate the problem.

Earlier, it was announced that the mission would take off on December 22. From the European-run Guyana Space Center in Kauro, French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America. When the Observatory launched the Ariane 5, the launch vehicle, the final step was taken in preparation for the Webbo explosion on Saturday.

However, the next phase of the launch campaign was hampered by a technical problem. The Swiss-built Ariane 5 payload hood was to be lowered above the three-story observatory on Monday.

In a brief statement late Tuesday, NASA wrote on its website that the web team was “fixing the problem between the observatory and the missile system.”

Thomas Surbuchen, associate administrator at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said Tuesday that engineers had discovered an “interface problem” with a system that communicates with the Web while on the Ariane 5 rocket.

In an interview with Space Flight Now on Tuesday night, Surbuchen said, “You can think of ground-based equipment. “Basically, data cables take a few shots.

Technicians at the last Ariane 5 rocket assembly building in Kauro tried to figure out the problem, but so far it has not been resolved.

“Tomorrow we will go there with ground aids and make sure we can get out of trouble,” Surbuchen said. “We tried a lot, but we failed. It’s 100 meters of cable going from the top of the rocket to someone’s computer. Somewhere there (the problem lies), we think.

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“But it’s too early to tell,” he said. “We need to go after him tomorrow and use some tools – it will be easier to figure out how these work when you find them.”

The Web is a one-time mission worth about $ 9.7 billion. USD became the most expensive scientific spacecraft ever launched. Its folding telescope opens to more than 6.5 meters into space, making the Web the largest space observatory in history.

Within half an hour of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, Ariane 5 will be launched and begin its orbit in the distant observatory near L2 Lagrange Point, a gravitational neutral point four times the distance from the Moon.

After using many important ranges of the Sunshield and its mirrors, the Web will begin to delve into the universe like any previous telescope, exploring the first galaxies and stars formed after the Big Bang 13 billion years ago.

On December 11, the James Webb Space Telescope was hoisted over the Ariane 5 launch site. Attribution: ESA-Manual Pedosaut

Surbuchen said ground-based teams recently encountered similar communication interface problems as they prepared to launch two small NASA missions, the DART asteroid targeting experiment and the IXPE X-ray astronomy mission. Both missions were cheaper than Webb, costing $ 330 and $ 214 million, respectively.

These experiments show that technical glitches during startup processing are not uncommon. The directors decided to keep these launches safe.

“But if it’s the web, we’ll find out. No one will be allowed to stand. For this reason, we can wrap it up on Friday (within the web load slip), which will increase the launch to 24.

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Surbuchen warns that the new December 24. Launch date is tentative, but NASA wanted to release a new tentative schedule before the teams could finish troubleshooting. NASA has announced that more details about the launch date of the web will be released later on Friday.

“A lot of people’s vacation schedules are related to what’s happening on the web,” Zurbuchen said.

Officials expect the web mission to launch on December 24, but Surbuchen says NASA and the European Space Agency have agreed to launch the web on Christmas Day, if necessary, until an agreement is reached with the French space agency, CNES. The launch range of the Guyana Space Center is controlled by the French National Center for Space Studies.

Thierry Wilmart, head of the Aerospace Mission in charge of web launches, said last week that the missile teams could try to launch on December 25 if necessary. Arianspace is a French commercial launch service provider for Ariane 5 missions.

Web Telescope has half-hour launch windows daily, opening January 6 from 6:20 am EDT (1220 GMT; 9:20 am KST).

If the mission is still on Earth, the launch will have to wait until January 13 to avoid the possibility of the Web flying close to the Moon’s path to L2 Lagrange Point, a million miles from Earth. The moon’s gravity will distort the spacecraft’s trajectory, so it will burn more fuel as it flies.

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