NASA is edging toward the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful space telescope ever to be built.
After decades of development, the mission is set to blast off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on Saturday, December 25.
The mission has been repeatedly delayed over the years for a multitude of reasons — more recent launch schedules, too, have been repeatedly adjusted.
The most recent one — set for Friday, December 23 ET — was called off on Tuesday due to expected poor weather at the launch site.
In a tweet, NASA said the space telescope had “completed its Launch Readiness Review & is safe atop its Ariane 5 rocket. However, the weather in French Guiana isn’t looking good. Launch is now no earlier than Dec 25 at 7:20 a.m. ET (12:20 a.m. UTC). We’ll monitor things & keep you posted.”
The James Webb Space Telescope is a joint effort between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.
Around 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope that’s been beaming back astonishing imagery for three decades, the Webb telescope will explore our solar system as well as the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Scientists believe the mission can help us gain a greater understanding of the origins of the universe and our place within it.
How to watch
At 3 a.m. ET on Saturday, December 25, NASA will offer an update on the fueling of the Ariane 5 rocket for the James Webb Space Telescope launch.
If the current schedule remains in place, coverage of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will begin at 6 a.m. ET.
The launch is currently set for 7:20 a.m. ET.
You can watch all the coverage via the video player embedded at the top of this page, or by visiting NASA TV’s website.
At 9 a.m. E.T., there will be a post-launch briefing from Kourou, French Guiana, detailing the early progress of the spacecraft carrying the telescope.
All times are subject to change. Digital Trends will post updates as soon as we learn of any changes to the schedule.
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