A Christmas launch for the James Webb space telescope

A Christmas launch for the James Webb space telescope
The James Webb telescope will be larger and more powerful than the legendary Hubble telescope. Credit: NASA

After being rescheduled several times, the launch of the James Webb space telescope – that will be the largest ever to be sent into space – has been confirmed for 25 December.

It will be blasted into the sun’s orbit from a space base on French Guyana, CEO of Arianespace Stéphane Israël wrote on Twitter. Not only the largest of its kind, the telescope will also be the most powerful and has been designed to study distant exoplanets and perhaps even find sources of life elsewhere in space.

Previous dates to launch the satellite were delayed by technical issues and poor meteorological conditions. But the team behind the project – a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA), Arianespace, and NASA – believe that a Christmas take off will be successful.

In a tweet, the ESA predicted that the exact time of launch will be close to 12:20 GMT. NASA added that there is a 32-minute window for launching the rocket.

Two instruments that will be aboard the satellite have been tested and/or partly developed at the Liège Space Centre (ULiège) with other Belgian industrial partners, Belga News Agency reports. 

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