Webb arrives in French Guiana for launch on Ariane 5

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The James Webb Space Telescope, a once in a generation space mission, arrived safely at Pariacabo harbour in French Guiana on 12 October 2021, ahead of its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport.

Webb was packed in a 30 m long container with additional equipment. It arrived from California on board the MN Colibri which sailed the Panama Canal to French Guiana on a 16-day voyage. The shallow Kourou river was specially dredged to ensure a clear passage and the vessel followed high tide to safely reach port.

The MN Colibri, like its sister vessel the MN Toucan, were built to ship Ariane 5 rocket parts from Europe to French Guiana. They were specifically designed to carry a complete set of Ariane 5 parts across the Atlantic, while having a low enough draft to enable them to follow a route along the shallow Kourou river to the Pariacabo harbour.

Webb will be the largest, most powerful telescope ever launched into space. As part of an international collaboration agreement, ESA is providing the telescope’s launch service using the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Working with partners, ESA was responsible for the development and qualification of Ariane 5 adaptations for the Webb mission and for the procurement of the launch service by @arianespace.

Webb is an international partnership between @NASA, ESA and the @Canadian Space Agency.

Learn more about Webb: https://bit.ly/ESAWebb

Copyright: ESA/ @CNES/Arianespace

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