Everything is ready for the launch of the Webb Telescope – Space and Astronomy for Christmas

The countdown to the highly anticipated launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) begins this Christmas, successor to the most famous Hubble Telescope and the result of a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Laid on the launch pad for Kourou Spaceport (French Guiana) aboard an Ariane-5 rocket, it is ready to depart on December 25, between 13:20 and 13:52 (Italian time), thus carrying out a historic mission that allows you to see the universe as never before before.

The Jswt telescope will travel on a direct escape path to its destination more than 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Webb’s “first message” will reach Earth about twenty minutes after launch, before Webb detaches from the rocket to begin his solitary life in space.

The signal will appear as the peak of radio waves on a screen with a 10-meter antenna in Malindi (Kenya), operated by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and part of the European Space Agency’s Astrak Cooperation Network. This initial signal will be followed by an information flow informing operators of the spacecraft’s status after launch fatigue, at the same time it will be possible for the ESA team at the agency’s operations center in Germany to send mission-critical commands and information at NASA’s Webb Mission Control.

From the moment of separation, Malindi will have three phases of vision with the mission: Initially the ESA station will communicate with Webb during the first hour after the separation, then the NASA antenna in Canberra will join support and Malindi will switch to a backup role. When the spacecraft is no longer visible from Canberra, Malindi will take over, before NASA’s Madrid station takes over support. After the separation and while supporting Webb, the Malindi station will also monitor the activities of the Ariane launcher for about an hour after takeoff.

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