Ariane flight VA256

Summary

Ariane 5 launch
Launch22 December 2021 12:20 UTC[1][2]
OperatorArianespace
PadELA-3
Payload
OutcomePlanned
Ariane launches
← VA255
VA257 →

Ariane flight VA256 is the mission that will launch the James Webb Space Telescope into space.[3]

Payload

The only payload of the flight is the James Webb Space Telescope.[3] It has a launch mass of about 6,500 kg (14,300 lb) and a design lifetime of 5 to 10 years.

Preparation campaign

Arrival in Kourou

The payload arrived in Kourou on 12 October 2021 where it was unloaded from the MN Colibri cargo ship.[4]

Integration incident

On 22 November 2021 an incident was reported by NASA and Arianespace that a clamp band securing the payload to the adapter was released during integration activities, causing vibrations to the telescope.[5] After some tests were performed, a review board concluded on 24 November 2021 that no payload component was damaged, and fuelling operations could be started on the next day.[1]

Fuelling operations

Fuelling operations began on 25 November 2021, for a duration of about 10 days.[1]

Launch

The rocket is planned to be launched from the ELA-3 launch pad of the Guiana Space Centre on 22 December 2021.[1]

Orbit

The James Webb Space Telescope will be injected into a transfer trajectory that will take it to the second Earth-Sun Lagrange point (L2) where it will begin its science mission.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Fisher, Alise (24 November 2021). "Testing Confirms Webb Telescope on Track for Targeted Dec. 22 Launch". NASA Blogs. NASA. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Testing Confirms Webb Telescope on Track for Targeted Dec. 22 Launch". arianespace.com. Arianespace. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Targeted Ariane 5 launch date for James Webb Space Telescope". Arianespace. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  4. ^ Fisher, Alise (28 October 2021). "The Journey to Kourou". NASA Blogs. NASA. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  5. ^ Fisher, Alise (22 November 2021). "NASA Provides Update on Webb Telescope Launch". NASA Blogs. NASA. Retrieved 1 December 2021.