December 29, 2023

[REPLAY] Webb launch success - VA 256

25 December 2021, during Christmas dinner, Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, accomplished a flawless launch on its 112th flight from the Guiana Space Centre to orbit NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Hubble’s successor is expected to answer fundamental questions about the universe.

Ariane 5 inserted Webb into a trajectory that will take it directly to its ultimate orbital destination at the L2 Lagrange point 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, which it will reach in 29 days. Fully deployed on arrival at L2, Webb will then switch on and test all its four instruments before being fully operational around Juneon 12 July 2022.

JWST is a space telescope that will operate in the infrared to detect the light from the birth of the first stars and galaxies after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems, and to characterize the atmosphere of known exoplanets. The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST is the largest and most powerful telescope ever sent into space. Designed to answer fundamental questions about the universe, it promises to deliver revolutionary discoveries in all domains of astrophysics and breathtaking new pictures of distant celestial objects. 

JWST features four cutting-edge instruments including MIRI (Mid-InfraRed Instrument), developed under the responsibility of ESA and national space agencies by a consortium of European research laboratories in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California. 

MIRI also features the MIRIM instrument (MIRI iMager) developed by the French atomic energy and alternative energies commission with teams at laboratories attached to the French national scientific research centre CNRS—the IAS space astrophysics institute, the LESIA space and astrophysics instrumentation research laboratory and the LAM astrophysics laboratory in Marseille—and its partners, overseen by CNES.

Replay the launch below after the live broadcast.

webb/Miri launch (VA256)

  • Launch date: 25 December 2021
  • Launch location: Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana
  • Launch vehicle: Ariane 5
  • Orbit: Lagrange point 2, 1.5 million km from Earth

Follow the launch live / REPLAY


About webb/Miri

MIRI is an infrared instrument embarked on the space telescope James Webb. It will supply images in a range from 5 to 28 microns of wavelength.