Nine-year-old James Webb watches the James Webb telescope explode in space

It will only take 30 days for the James Webb Telescope to reach the orbit of the sun, but for a little boy, it will be the trip of a lifetime.

arry and Sarah Webb met while studying physics at Nottingham Trent University.

So it was only natural for the couple to turn to their scientific knowledge when they tried to come up with a name for their first child.


The James Webb Telescope will follow in the footsteps of the Hubble Telescope launched 31 years ago (European Space Agency / PA)

The couple began discussing potential names around the same time the James Webb Space Telescope narrowly escaped cancellation in 2011.

“We had known about the space telescope for a long time when it was originally supposed to be launched in 2007,” said Mr. Webb.

“We had James in 2012. The space telescope was almost canned in 2011. But they managed to keep it afloat and move it forward.

“At the end of 2011, we were thinking about names and we were talking about the James Webb telescope. “

He said they chose a name after joking about the similarities between childbirth and space launches.


(PA Graphics)

“Obviously, the last name being Webb, we decided to call him after that.

“We joked that (having James) was a major scientific and technical feat.”

The telescope was due to be launched shortly after naming their son, but the project suffered repeated delays.

The Webbs had planned to take a family trip to French Guiana to attend the launch in person, but decided it was too risky after the launch date was pushed back.

Instead, James and his extended family watched the launch at home on Christmas Day.

Mr Webb said his son even put down his new toys to watch the telescope go up into space.

“It was Christmas day so he was already a little excited,” he said.

“He showed his interest at the age of nine to be able to stop, put all his things down and look at them without bouncing off the walls for 10 minutes.

“He definitely has a mathematical and scientific brain on his shoulders. “

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