James Webb Space Telescope Stationed in Malindi Successfully Launched

James Webb telescope
James Webb Telescope. [Courtesy]

The world’s largest and most powerful space telescope successfully launched on Christmas morning. The James Webb Space Telescope is on a quest to scour the universe for a hint of life.

The NASA premier space observatory lifted off atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana at 7:20 a.m. ET.

Its flight to orbit lasted just under half an hour, with a signal confirming a successful outcome picked up by a ground antenna at Malindi in Kenya.

James Webb telescope
James Webb telescope. [Courtesy]
The Malindi base station is owned by a non-Kenyan entity, ESA – European space agency in partnership with the Italians.

The Luigi Broglio Space Center (BSC) is an Italian-owned spaceport near Malindi, named after its founder and Italian space pioneer Luigi Broglio.

The centre was developed in the 1960s through a partnership between the Sapienza University of Rome’s Aerospace Research Centre and NASA.

In 2020, parliament ratified a new deal on the use of the multi-billion dollar rocket launching facility. This meant that Kenya would pocket Sh25 million annually from Italy for the use of the land.

James Webb telescope

James Webb Telescope. [Courtesy]

Kenya had prior to the signing of the deal been negotiating for a new deal since 2012 when the previous pact ended.

The Sh25 million will be reviewed every five years, with a $50,000 (Sh5 million) increment.

Kenya had hosted the Italian-run space centre since 1962 without benefiting from it due to a pre-Independence agreement.

James Webb telescope
James Webb Telescope. [Courtesy]
The telescope will answer questions about the solar system, study exoplanets in new ways and take a deeper look into the universe.

On Twitter, however, Kenyans wondered why the development did not get the media coverage it deserved.

Some said the media was preoccupied with politics.

Here are some of their sentiments:



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Written by Eva Nyambura

Content creator at | Passionate about telling the untold story. Lover of life, music and technology. Simplicity is KEY


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