Kourou, French Guiana

Ahead of the approaching Ariane 5 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 objective takes us over Kourou– house to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, an abroad department of France. Found around 60 km northwest of the French Guianese capital Cayenne, Kourou is a seaside town in the north-central part of the nation and shows up in the lower right of the image. The town lies at the estuary of the Kourou River which, after its journey of 144 km, clears into the Atlantic Ocean. Its muddy waters appear brown probably due to sediments got from the surrounding forest. Credit: Contains customized Copernicus Sentinel information (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Ahead of the approaching Ariane 5 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 objective takes us over Kourou– house to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, an abroad department of France.

Located around 60 km northwest of the French Guianese capital Cayenne, Kourou is a seaside town in the north-central part of the nation and shows up in the lower right of the image. The town lies at the estuary of the Kourou River which, after its journey of 144 km, clears into the Atlantic Ocean. Its muddy waters appear brown probably due to sediments got from the surrounding forest.

Long, white sandy beaches line the town’s ocean coast, while the riverbank and inland location consists mainly of mangrove and thick tropical jungle. The surrounding location’s economy is mainly farming, with coffee, cacao, and tropical fruits being grown.

Just northwest of Kourou lies Europe’s Spaceport– selected as a base from which to introduce satellites in 1964 by the French Government, and presently house to ESA-developed rocket households Ariane and Vega.

Europe’s Spaceport Seen From Space

Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana ensures independent, trustworthy access to area for Europe. This launch base and the jungle that surrounds it covers 690 km2. ESA owns the unique facilities constructed for the Ariane, Soyuz and Vega rockets, this consists of launch car and satellite preparation structures, launch operation centers and a plant for making strong propellant and incorporating strong rocket motors. Credit: ESA/NASA

As Kourou lies simply 500 km north of the equator, it makes it preferably positioned for launches into orbit as the rockets acquire additional efficiency thanks to a ‘slingshot impact’ from the speed of Earth’s rotation. In addition, there is no danger of cyclones or earthquakes. This launch base and the jungle that surrounds it covers 690 sq km and safeguards an abundance of wildlife and plants.

Europe’s Spaceport Seen From Space Annotated

At the center of the photo is the launch complex for Ariane 6, constructed for ESA by the French area company, CNES and its partners, it was inaugurated on 28 September2021 Offered in 2 variations, with either 2 or 4 boosters, Ariane 6 will change Europe’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 to use more efficiency and versatility. ESA’s upcoming Vega-C will utilize the very same launch zone (imagined left) as its Vega predecessor. Credit: ESA/NASA

From here, the biggest and most effective telescope ever released into area– the James Webb Space Telescope– is arranged for launch. After liftoff, it will start a month-long journey to its location, around one and a half million kilometers from Earth.

Following the steps of the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb is developed to address concerns about deep space and to make advancement discoveries in all fields of astronomy. The telescope will have the ability to discover infrared light produced by galaxies as they formed more than 13.5 billion years earlier, in the after-effects of the Big Bang Webb will see further into our origins– from deep space’s very first galaxies, to the birth of stars and worlds, to exoplanets.

In the very first month after launch, Webb will unfold its sunshield, which is around the size of a tennis court, and release its 6.5-meter main mirror. This will be utilized to identify the faint light of far-off stars and galaxies with a level of sensitivity of a hundred times higher than that of Hubble.

Webb is a joint task in between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

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