ESA welcomes Webb in French Guiana for launch on Ariane 5

Tue, 12 Oct 2021 08:00:00 GMT
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The James Webb Space Telescope has arrived safely at Pariacabo harbour in French Guiana. ESA in...

The James Webb Space Telescope has arrived safely at Pariacabo harbour in French Guiana.

Few space science missions have been as eagerly anticipated as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Webb arrived from California on board the MN Colibri which sailed the Panama Canal to French Guiana.

In parallel to Webb preparations, Ariane 5 rocket parts from Europe will come together in the launch vehicle integration building.

Ariane 5's ample fairing, 5.4 m diameter and 17 m high, provides enough space for Webb's folded spacecraft components, sunshield and mirrors.

Ariane 5 will release Webb directly on a path towards L2 on which it will continue for four weeks, eventually arriving at L2 which is four times farther away than the Moon is from Earth.

A few customised features make Ariane 5 a perfect fit for Webb.

To avoid overheating of any elements of Webb, Ariane 5 will perform a specially developed rolling manoeuvre to ensure that all parts of the satellite will be equally exposed to the sun.

"Webb is an excellent example of international teamwork and cooperation. We welcome Webb and our partners to Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana to continue this adventure towards a thrilling liftoff on board Ariane 5 and to sharing the many Webb science breakthroughs to come!" commented Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA Director of Space Transportation.

Working with partners, ESA was responsible for the development and qualification of Ariane 5 adaptations for the Webb mission and for the procurement of the launch service.

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