NASA sets the cover and invites the public to witness the launch of the Webb telescope


Press release

WASHINGTON, December 18, 2021

WASHINGTON, December 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – NASA will cover pre-launch, launch and post-launch activities for the James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope.

NASA logo. (PRNewsFoto / NASA) (PRNewsFoto /) (PRNewsfoto / NASA)

Webb aims to launch into 7:20 a.m. EST Friday, on December 24, on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from Europe Kourou spaceport, French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America.

English-language live launch coverage will begin at 6 am on NASA TV, the application of NASA and the agency website. The public can also watch live on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tic, and Daily movement. NASA will also offer a launch broadcast in Spanish from 6.30 a.m. on the agency’s website and social media accounts in Spanish. NASA will host a pre-launch press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday, on December 21, and a post-launch press conference approximately 30 minutes after the live broadcast of the launch ended on Friday 24 December.

The Webb mission, an international partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency, will explore all phases of cosmic history – from the solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and all the rest. Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

Full mission coverage is as follows. All times are Eastern and information is subject to change.

NASA press briefings

At 2 o’clock in the afternoon Tuesday, December 21, NASA will host a pre-launch virtual press conference with the following attendees:

  • NASA Deputy Administrator Pam melroy

  • Thomas zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of the Scientific Missions Directorate of NASA, NASA Headquarters in Washington

  • Greg robinson, Webb Program Director, NASA HQ

  • Beatriz romero, Webb project director for launch services, Arianespace in Paris

At Friday 24 December, approximately 30 minutes after the end of the Webb launch broadcast, a joint press conference will be held in Kourou.

Both briefings will be broadcast on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency website.

To participate by telephone, media must confirm their attendance no later than two hours before the start of each briefing for Laura Betz at: Media and members of the public can also ask questions on social media using #UnfoldtheUniverse.

that of NASA media accreditation policy for virtual and on-site activities is available online.

NASA TV launch coverage in English

Live NASA TV coverage to begin at 6 a.m. Friday 24 December. For information on NASA TV downlinks, schedules, and links to streaming videos, visit:

On launch day, a clean feed of the launch without commentary will be available via satellite. The uplink will start to 7h00 and continue for an hour after launch. Clean Food will also be available on AVOC Washington.

The launch coverage audio will also be available via this satellite stream, with audio channels for launch commentary in English, French and Spanish, as well as “mission audio” without commentary.

Please contact for satellite coordinates.

NASA Launch Coverage in English

Launch day coverage will be available on the agency’s website website. Coverage will include live broadcast and blog updates. Streaming video on demand and photos of the launch will be available shortly after take-off. Track coverage online at:

NASA Launch Coverage in Spanish: Desplegando el Universo

Hosted byBegoña Vila, a Webb Instrument Systems Engineer, NASA’s Spanish-language broadcast of the launch will feature interviews with Hispanic members of the mission and live commentary from Kourou via Vila and ESA engineer Julio Monreal.

The show, which will start at 6.30 a.m. Friday, on December 24, will be available on NASA in español’s Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, as well as on NASA website.

Media and educational institutions interested in sharing the stream of the show can contact María José Viñas at

The agency also released the first episode of The curious universe of NASA podcast in Spanish. The episode, “Desplegando el universo con el telescopio espacial James webb, “is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and SoundCloud.

Media interview requests

Members of the media seeking interviews on the Webb launch should complete the NASA form application form.

Public participation

Members of the public can register to attend virtually launch. The NASA Virtual Guest for the Mission program includes organized launch resources, notifications of related opportunities or changes, and a stamp for the NASA Virtual Guest Passport after a successful launch.

NASA Virtual Social Networks

As NASA prepares for Webb at #UnfoldTheUniverse, the agency invites the public to join the James Webb Space Telescope social event on Facebook. Participants will be joined by NASA, ESA, the Canadian Space Agency and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Stay on top of the latest mission activities, interact with Webb experts in real time, and watch the launch live stream with interactive chat.

Watch and engage on social media

Stay connected to the mission and let people know you’re following the launch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #UnfoldTheUniverse. Follow and tag these accounts:

For more information on the Webb mission, visit:



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