There Was a Major Unexpected Benefit to James Webb’s Christmas Launch

After a detailed analysis of where the James Webb Space Telescope is now (29 December 2021) and how it got there, NASA determined the observatory should have enough propellant to operate in space for significantly more than 10 years in space.   Webb’s mission lifetime was designed to be at least 5-1/2 years, and mission … Read more

It’s truly Christmas’ James Webb Space Telescope’s yuletide launch has NASA overjoyed

After years of delays, billions of dollars in cost overruns, and several last minute postponements due to technical and weather issues, the James Webb Space Telescope launched into space in a flawless Christmas liftoff that has scientists overjoyed.  “It’s truly Christmas with all the presents and everything and we have a space mission,” Thomas Zurbuchen, … Read more

In photos: The Christmas launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

(Image credit: NASA/Chris Gunn) But first, James Webb Space Telescope had to leave Earth behind and to do that, it had to get to its launch site.  Here is the cargo ship carrying NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope that arrived in French Guiana on Oct. 12, 2021, after a 16-day sea voyage. The space telescope … Read more

NASA’s Webb telescope takes flight—a Christmas gift to astronomers everywhere | Science

NASA’s most expensive telescope ever is in space at last. The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, an instrument expected to revolutionize astronomy by gathering light from the atmospheres of alien worlds and the universe’s first galaxies, launched at 7:20 a.m. Eastern Time on a sultry Christmas morning from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. Some … Read more

Christmas launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has sparked some epic holiday memes

It’s launch day for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and after months of delays, the mission is lifting off on Christmas Day (Dec. 25) in what may be the biggest gift astronomy has ever seen. The Webb space telescope is scheduled to lift off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:20 … Read more

Astronauts on the International Space Station send Christmas video message to Earth

Astronauts on the International Space Station shared a festive message for people on Earth as they prepare to spend the holidays in orbit.  Expedition 66 crew members, including NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Mark Vande Hei, ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, will be celebrating … Read more

The Christmas night sky: A 2021 Yuletide stargazing guide

Christmas is almost here, and the night sky obliges by presenting a beautiful display of celestial sights, perfectly timed out to coincide with the holiday. In ancient times, Dec. 25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia, a sort of bacchanalian Thanksgiving to the god of agriculture, for whom the slowest moving … Read more

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope won’t hit Santa during Christmas launch

NASA is launching a huge observatory into space early Christmas morning (Dec. 25), but you don’t need to worry about it hitting Santa Claus. While St. Nick is wrapping up his annual world tour, presumably somewhere in Alaska, Hawaii or the other Pacific islands in the westernmost time zones, an Ariane 5 rocket will be … Read more

Track Santa as he delivers gifts around the world on Christmas Day

Impatient children can pass time waiting for their Christmas presents by tracking Santa as he proceeds with his annual deliveries across the globe in a simulation by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). It has already become a tradition for NORAD, in cooperation with private companies Analytical Graphics (AGI) and Cesium, to follow Santa … Read more

Christmas in space: 10 fun holiday space facts

It’s that magical time of year again. Whether you’re living with the frigid temperatures of the northern hemisphere or the sunny climes south of the equator, right now, lots of us are thinking about Christmas. Christmas is a holiday celebrated by more than 2 billion people globally, so chances are that it’s important to you … Read more