BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency says the launch of a new NASA telescope to replace the famed Hubble observatory is being postponed to allow experts to check the device for possible damage following an incident at its spaceport in French Guiana. The ESA said in a statement late Monday that technicians had been preparing to attach the James Webb Space Telescope to a launch vehicle adapter when a clamp band suddenly loosened, jolting the delicate observatory. ESA said that a NASA-led review board ordered tests to determine whether the incident damaged any components. It said NASA would provide an update at the end of the week. ESA said the telescope will now launch no earlier than Dec. 22. That’s four days after the original planned liftoff date.
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