The James Space Telescope, an once-in-a-generation space mission, arrived at Pariacabo Harbour in French Guiana on 12 Oct 2021,, ahead of its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket launched from Europe’s Spaceport.
Webb was packed into a 30 1 m 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. To ensure safe passage, the Kourou river was specially dredged. The vessel then followed the high tide to reach port.
The MN Colibri was built, along with its sister vessel, the MN Toucan to transport Ariane 5 rocket parts between Europe and French Guiana. The MN Colibri was specifically built to transport an entire set of Ariane5 parts across the Atlantic. They also have a low enough draft that they can follow the Kourou river from the Pariacabo harbor.
Webb will be the largest, most powerful telescope ever launched into space. ESA will provide the launch service for the telescope using the Ariane 5 rocket vehicle as part of an international cooperation agreement. ESA, in collaboration with partners, was responsible for developing and qualifying Ariane 5 adapts for Webb mission as well as for procuring the launch service from Arianespace.
Webb was an international partnership between NASA and ESA.