NASA's James Webb Telescope, worth a whopping $10 billion, has reached French Guiana on Tuesday, Oct. 12, after a 16-day ocean voyage.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Arrives at Launch Site
A cargo ship traveled with the $10 billion worth telescope from Seal Beach in the Orange Country of Southern California last Sept. 16, as per Space.com. Next, the vessel reached the Panama Canal on Oct. 5.
The large boat carrying the James Webb Space Telescope then sailed across the Pacific Ocean up until the Caribbean Sea, making its way to the French Guiana, where its launching site is located.
The program director of the James Webb Space Telescope, Gregory Robinson, said in a statement that its arrival to the launch site in French Guiana "is a momentous occasion." The NASA program director further said that they "are very excited to finally send the world's next great observatory into deep space."
It is worth noting that the Webb telescope took years before it reached its launch pad. To be precise, the NASA endeavor began way back in 1996. What's more, its launch was initially scheduled in 2007, but has been moved to 2021 due to some hiccups that involve some cost overruns.
That said, the arrival of the massive observatory has long been awaited.
Meanwhile, in 2017, NASA started the assembly of the telescope at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Launch
Its arrival at the French territory in South America is ahead of its launch scheduled to lift off on Dec. 18 at Europe's Spaceport in the town of Kourou in French Guiana. The $10 billion telescope will fly to space atop the Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket.
The Webb telescope project is a collaboration between three space agencies including the United States, Europe, and Canada, according to BBC's latest report.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope: What's Next
BBC further said in the same report that the James Webb observatory will undergo some final tests with its rocket as it waits for its launch in December.
After its launch, the telescope will go to the Earth-sun Lagrange Point 2 where it will be looking into the cosmos via infrared light technology. The $10 billion telescope will then replace the Hubble Space Telescope.
The James Webb observatory will further help researchers and scientists to observe and study the galaxies and stars, as well as any signs of life in other neighboring planets of the Earth.
The NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, even went on to say that humanity is now "close to unlocking mysteries of the cosmos."
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Written by Teejay Boris