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The James Webb Space Telescope prepares to launch

The James Webb Space Telescope, the biggest, most powerful space telescope in history, is set to launch into space this Christmas.

It has been developed by NASA together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Swiss scientists have been closely involved in the project and some Swiss technology is on board.

The orbiting infrared observatory is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. With a much bigger primary mirror, the Webb, as it is known, is 100 times more sensitive than the Hubble and can look greater distances and farther back into time. The 5-10 year mission aims to gather information on the universe's earliest stages, star formation, and whether planets beyond our solar system may be suitable for life, among other issues.

The Webb has been delayed many times but is due to blast off on an Ariane 5 rocket from a site in French Guiana “no earlier than December 24” NASA announced last week. It was previously due to leave on December 22.

--- is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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