Scientists in French Guiana have begun preparations to launch the world’s largest and most expensive space telescope, the James Webb. It is set to replace the Hubble space telescope, which has been orbiting Earth for over 20 years. This was reported by NASA.

On October 15, the James Webb telescope was delivered to the spaceport of Kourou, French Guiana. Its protective covers should now be removed, then the telescope will be brought to an upright position, and scientists will begin its testing to determine the readiness for launch. If all checks are successful, James Webb will be launched into space on December 18.

In August 2021, James Webb was finally tested and then fully assembled at Northrop Grumman’s Space Park in California.

James Webb is a joint development of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. Its construction began in 1996 and was completed only in 2016, nine years later than planned.

Scientists hope that the improved sensors and mirrors of James Webb will record light from the very first stars in the Universe, which were formed more than 13.5 million years ago. Scientists also hope to record the oldest galaxies with the help of the new telescope.