Construction has been delayed for several years and the launch schedule has been somewhat delayed, with the latest being a slight delay due to bad weather at the South American launch site. But fate seems set for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope on the 25th – now less than 24 hours away. It’s hard to believe this is actually happening, isn’t it?
If all goes well, tomorrow the telescope sent to the L2 Lagrange point will be seen with its solar panels and its main communications antenna. In the coming weeks, that hardware would be followed by the extension of the telescope’s sun screen, and later the telescope itself. Before we can be sure that the hardware will live up to its promise, there will be many points of potential failure.
(If you want a relatively complete timeline of everything that happens in the six months between launch and operations, NASA has you covered,
If you want to watch the launch itself, NASA TV coverage will begin tomorrow morning at 6:00 US Eastern Time; We’ve also embedded the NASA TV stream immediately below. Ars will be taking time off from its usual leisure drinking and sleeping schedule to be at the Space Telescope Science Institute for launch, so expect a report from there later in the day.