NASA is officially planning to launch the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit December 18, 2021, to serve as the premier deep space observatory for the next decade. The agency set the new target launch date in coordination with Arianespace after Webb recently and successfully completed its rigorous testing regimen – a major turning point for the mission. The new date also follows Arianespace successfully launching an Ariane 5 rocket in late July and scheduling a launch that will precede Webb. The July launch was the first for an Ariane 5 since August 2020. The highly complex space telescope is currently resting in its final stow configuration at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in Redondo Beach, California.
“Webb is an exemplary mission that signifies the epitome of perseverance.” —
Gregory L. Robinson, NASA Program Director