NASA’s extremely delayed Webb telescope is hit again this time

The Webb telescope in the clean room of the Guyana Space Center in French Guiana on October 15, 2021.

The Webb telescope in the clean room of the Guyana Space Center in French Guiana on October 15, 2021.
Photo: NASA/Chris Gunn

A few weeks before launch, handling anomalies caused the entire Webb telescope to vibrate unexpectedly. Investigations are currently underway to determine whether the incident damaged the observatory in some way.

To be honest, I have nothing to surprise me about the Webb Space Telescope, but this recent incident is completely daunting. After decades of planning, years of delay, and hard work, to ensure that the $10 billion observatory can operate as expected, but some kind of accident occurred. The result may be nothing, but for this troubled project, this last-minute chaos must be branded.

Webb was originally scheduled to launch on December 18, but this will not happen. The space telescope is currently located in the satellite preparation facility in Kourou, French Guiana, where Ariane Aerospace is preparing to launch the instrument on the Ariane 5 rocket. When Ariane’s technicians were preparing to install the telescope on the launch vehicle adapter, “suddenly and unexpectedly loosened the entrainment that held Weber on the launch vehicle adapter-causing the entire observatory to vibrate.” according to To NASA.

The entire observatory is shaking.

coin. Just like, it is not a vibration related to a single component, nor is it limited to a certain part of the vibration. Do not-Vibration throughout the observatory. It sounds like they sounded like a bell, but to be fair, we don’t yet know the severity of the shock.

We don’t know when the incident happened, but it probably happened recently. An anomaly review committee led by NASA has prompted testing to ensure that the incident did not damage any components of Webb. NASA said it will provide an update this weekend.

NASA’s Deputy Director of Science Thomas Zurbuchen was asked about the incident at a press conference held yesterday to discuss Upcoming DART asteroid missionWeber is about to launch and will no longer be equipped with the sensors used when the spacecraft was transported to French Guia, he said, so without these sensors, the team would have to perform calculations to estimate the amount of force the spacecraft will withstand. The telescope at the time of the incident. Zurbuchen added that “a small number of subsystems” are being functionally tested to “make sure nothing has happened.”

The release of Webb is now no earlier than December 22-at least four days delayed. Of course, the premise is that the ongoing investigation has yielded satisfactory results. Once in space, Weber will use infrared to observe the atmospheres of distant exoplanets, study stars, and discover ancient galaxies that appeared shortly after the Big Bang.

Unbelievable, but Webb should be in 2007. in progress Development challenge, this COVID-19 pandemic, And the question Ariane 5 rocket of Ariane Aerospace This led to a seemingly endless series of delays. The telescope was originally scheduled to launch in 2014, 2018, 2019, and 2020, and there have been multiple delays this year (originally scheduled for launch in March, October, and November).To make matters worse, the Webb telescope is already serious criticize Named after a NASA administrator involved in the project Widespread persecution of LGBTQ government employees During the “Lavender Panic” of the mid-20th century.

related: Extreme Delay The James Webb Space Telescope is delayed again.

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