Tracing the origin of the universe or the first light is one of the most ambitious goals of the James Webb telescope, the largest space observatory built by mankind. And the countdown to take off has already begun. To know how and when to watch the James Webb telescope launch, we tell you all the details.
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Although the launch of the James Webb telescope was scheduled for the middle of the month, after numerous delays NASA seems to have overcome some inconveniences and found an ideal date for the momentous milestone: the morning of December 25, 2021.
The Webb telescope will be launched from Arianespace’s ELA-3 complex, in the European spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. According to scientists, since the launch center is located near the equator, the spin of the Earth will give it an additional boost.
It will take about 30 days for the telescope to complete a journey of one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) to reach the second Lagrange point (L2), from where it will orbit the Sun. The startup period is estimated to take about six months, so in June 2022 it could send its first images.
How and when to watch the launch
If all goes according to plan by NASA, the window of opportunity for launch will occur on the morning of December 25, 2021, at the following times:
- United States and Canada: 7:20 am to 7:52 am EST / 4:20 am to 4:52 am PST
- Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras: 6:20 am to 6:52 am
- Colombia, Peru, Ecuador: 7:20 am to 7:52 am
- Bolivia, Venezuela: 8:20 am to 8:52 am
- Argentina, Brazil and Chile: 9:20 am to 9:52 am
- Spain: 1:20 pm to 1:52 pm
The takeoff will be broadcast live through the NASA channel on YouTube, although you can also follow it from Digital Trends in Spanish in this same note.
Official broadcast from the Guiana space center will begin at 6:00 am EST / 3:00 am PST, while a briefing on the mission is scheduled for 9:00 am EST / 6:00 am PST.
Origin of the universe
Construction of the James Web Space Telescope began by NASA in 1996, as part of Hubble’s scheduled replacement process.
Originally called the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), since 2002 it adopted the name of the second NASA administrator and a key player in the development of the Apollo program.
According to NASA, the Webb telescope will be able to study every phase of cosmic history, from the interior of the Solar System to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.
It is estimated that you will be able to contemplate the time when the first stars and galaxies formed, more than 13.5 billion years ago, a part of space and time never before seen by humanity.