The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is unboxed
The was transported to Europe’s Spaceport and unboxed in the cleanroom after its arrival at Pariacabo harbor in French Guiana on October 12, 2021.
It is currently being prepared for a December launch on an Ariane 5 rocket.
The telescope is more than 10.5 m high and nearly 4.5 m wide when folded, despite the fact that it only weighs six tonnes.
It was transported folded in a 30 m long container that weighed more than 70 tonnes with auxiliary equipment.
After arriving in the harbor, a heavy-load tractor unit towed the telescope and its container to Europe’s Spaceport’s spacecraft processing facility.
There, Webb’s special shipping container was opened, and the telescope was unboxed and installed on a rollover fixture to raise it vertically inside the facility’s cleanroom.
Inside the Ariane 5 fairing, it will appear like this.
More than 100 professionals are involved in Webb’s launch campaign.
Teams will work separately to prepare the telescope and launch vehicle until they come together as one to join the telescope and its rocket for a historic launch.
Webb will be the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope.
ESA is providing the telescope’s launch service through the Ariane 5 launch vehicle as part of an international collaboration agreement.
ESA was responsible for the development and qualification of Ariane 5 adaptations for the Webb mission, as well as the procurement of the launch service by Arianespace, in collaboration with partners.
Webb is a joint venture between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).