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James Webb Space Telescope launch – live: Nasa prepares for historic Christmas Day lift-off


<p>In this photo provided by NASA, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, is seen at the launch pad, Thursday, 23 December, 2021, at Europe’s Spaceport, the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana</p>

In this photo provided by NASA, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, is seen at the launch pad, Thursday, 23 December, 2021, at Europe’s Spaceport, the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana

(Nasa/ AP)

Nasa is less than 24 hours away from launching the James Webb Space Telescope, which the US space agency hopes will unlock the secrets of the early universe.

The launch is scheduled for 12.20pm GMT (7.20am EST) on Christmas Day, with a live stream available on Nasa’s website shortly before lift-off.

All sorts of last-minute issues could hamper the launch of the $10 billion observatory, which was previously pushed back from 24 December due to poor weather conditions at the launch site in French Guinea.

Nasa administrator Bill Nelson warned ahead of the launch that “over 300 things” could go wrong and scupper the launch, with officials saying during a news conference this week that there was an intermittent communication delay between the rocket and telescope.

Once in space, the James Webb telescope will attempt to look back in time 13.7 billion years towards stars and galaxies formed during the early stages of the universe’s creation.

You can follow all the latest news and updates from the launch right here.

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James Webb Space Telescope launch time and how to watch

The launch time for the James Webb Space Telescope is currently scheduled for 12.20pm GMT on Saturday, 25 December.

Following years of delays and cost overruns, Nasa was forced to push back the initial launch date on Christmas Eve due to upper-high level wind, but it’s looking good for now.

“There are over 300 things, any one of which goes wrong, it is not a good day,” Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson warned. “So the whole thing has got to work perfectly.”

You’ll find everything you need to know about the launch and how to watch it right here:

Anthony Cuthbertson24 December 2021 14:48

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Hello and welcome…

to The Independent’s live coverage of the James Webb Space Telescope launch. There have been several delays to the historic lift-off, but weather is so far looking good for the $10 billion observatory to reach space on Christmas Day.

We’ll have all the latest updates from the launch in French Guiana, as well as a live stream from Nasa as soon as it’s available.

Anthony Cuthbertson24 December 2021 14:41



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