NASA has again postponed the launch date of the space telescope “James Webb”, now he is to be held on 31 October 2021. This decision caused delays and difficulties in working with the telescope, which caused a pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, reported on the website NASA.
Space Observatory “James Webb” should become the successor to the space telescopes “Hubble” and “Spitzer”. Its main compound mirror measuring 6.5 meters five times larger than the main mirror of Hubble, and to minimize thermal noise in observations will help five-layer protective screen. The telescope will operate on a halo orbit around the second Lagrange point in the system Sun — Earth. On him the hopes of the world’s top astronomers, the telescope will search for galaxies that existed in the era of Reionizatsii, to investigate the processes of star formation and forming planetary systems and to study clusters of stars and galaxies, distant quasars and atmosphere of exoplanets.
Currently fully assembled telescope is located in the clean room of Northrop Grumman Space Systems in California, where a series of tests that have already confirmed the correct deployment of the protective screen, the main mirror and support tower telescope and its translation in the flight configuration.
13 July 2020 experts announced the completion of the first of the final complex (acoustic, vibration, and electrical) testing of the telescope, which lasted 15 days. A few months later, after the Observatory completes the second such test, engineers will double check all its systems to detect anomalies. If all goes well, the telescope is again transferred in the flight configuration and send it to Kourou.
The complexity and uniqueness of the design of the telescope has led to the fact that his date of launch into space, initially scheduled for 2007, has repeatedly postponed and the total project cost had already risen to 9.66 billion dollars without taking into account contributions by the European and Canadian space agencies. Until recently, the start date considered March 30, 2021, however, on 16 July 2020, NASA announced that due to delays and difficulties in the work in connection with the pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 launch rescheduled for October 31, 2021. At the same time, the Agency expected to complete all remaining work on the telescope in the framework of the new graphics without additional resources.
About what astronomers hope to learn about the Universe using the “James Webb”, you can learn from our material “That will see the replacement of Hubble?”.