NASA has again postponed the launch of the $10 billion James Webb Telescope due to the rocket not ready for launch, after it was delayed from schedule in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it won’t launch any time soon especially as the telescope needs a 55-day setup period after its arrival. to French territory in South America from which it will be launched.
According to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, a NASA spokesperson said that the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope will occur no later than October 31, adding, “Webb will be shipped to the launch site in August, and the launch will take two months to process.”
Also, according to Ars Technica, the Ariane 5 rocket that will launch the telescope has been discontinued since August 2020 due to a payload rheological issue.
Officials at Arianespace, which operates the launch, said the root issue of the payload display issue had been diagnosed and fixed, however, as the missile has not yet launched, it is not clear why.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected activity at the spaceport in French Guiana, the French territory on the northeastern coast of South America, due to limited supplies of vaccines there.
The observatory has completed all post-environmental testing deployments and is in its final phase of integration, folding, sealing and packaging.
The spokesperson added that NASA is working with both the European Space Agency and Arianespace to set a launch date, which will occur approximately four months after the first launch of Ariane 5 this year, which is scheduled for late July.