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James Webb Space Telescope gets all shook up – launch delayed again


The European Space Agency has delayed the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope until December 22 so that it can undergo additional testing following an incident that sent unintended vibrations through the observatory.

The James Webb Space Telescope – an international collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – was set to launch on 18 December from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

However, as technicians were preparing to attach the telescope to the launch vehicle adapter, a "sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band" – a device that secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter – caused a vibration throughout the observatory.

"A NASA-led anomaly review board was immediately convened to investigate and instituted additional testing to determine with certainty the incident did not damage any components," according to an ESA statement that indicated testing will end later this week, with results to follow.

The James Webb Space Telescope ...


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