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Launch of new NASA space telescope delayed after incident

BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency says the launch of a new NASA telescope to exchange the famed Hubble observatory is being postponed to permit specialists to test the system for attainable harm following an incident at its spaceport in French Guiana.

The ESA stated in an announcement late Monday that technicians had been getting ready to connect the James Webb Space Telescope to a launch automobile adapter when a clamp band abruptly loosened, jolting the fragile observatory.

“A NASA-led anomaly review board was immediately convened to investigate and instituted additional testing to determine with certainty (that) the incident did not damage any components,” ESA stated. “NASA and its mission partners will provide an update when the testing is completed at the end of this week.”

Woman stand in front of James Webb telescope.
European Space Agency (ESA) “chef du bureau” Charlotte Beskow at The Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.
AFP through Getty Images / Jody Amiet
James Webb Space Telescope.
The James Webb Space
Telescope is anticipated to exchange the famed Hubble observatory.
AFP through Getty Images / Jody Amiet

ESA stated the telescope will now launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket no sooner than Dec. 22 — 4 days after the unique deliberate liftoff date of Dec. 18.

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