2021 is an exciting year for space science. The launch of the JWST will be the biggest thing in the world of astrophysics for decades and we are excited to see how UK primary children engage with this event. Here’s what the BBC have to say about it…
If the standout rocket launch of 2020 was the flight that took US astronauts back into orbit from American soil, then the major rocket event of 2021 must surely be the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
The successor to the mighty Hubble observatory is due to go into orbit on 31 October.
Its mission will be to detect the very first stars to shine in the cosmos.
The carrier rocket will be Europe’s venerable Ariane-5 vehicle.
It’s part of the deal that the European Space Agency (Esa) struck to get involved with the US space agency (Nasa)-led telescope project.
By providing the launch rocket and some instrumentation, Esa guaranteed European astronomers use of the new telescope once operational.
The workhorse Ariane-5 is nearing the end of its career. Only eight of the expendable vehicles are left, with one reserved for this special flight.
Image by Arianespace