Nasa has revealed plans to launch the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope on 31 October 2021.

The telescope was initially planned for launch from French Guiana on March 2021.

The decision was taken following the impacts from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and other technical related challenges.

The agency recently completed a schedule risk assessment of the remaining integration and test activities before launch. The observatory has also cleared electrical testing.

Nasa science mission directorate associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said: “The perseverance and innovation of the entire Webb Telescope team have enabled us to work through challenging situations we could not have foreseen on our path to launch this unprecedented mission.

“Webb is the world’s most complex space observatory and our top science priority, and we’ve worked hard to keep progress moving during the pandemic.

“The team continues to be focused on reaching milestones and arriving at the technical solutions that will see us through to this new launch date next year.”

Despite the pandemic, Northrop Grumman continues testing of the observatory in Redondo Beach, California.

Meanwhile, the project team will continue with the final set of environmental tests. Following this, it will be shipped to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, in the northeastern coast of South America.

Last October, Nasa’s main industry partner for the mission Northrop Grumman announced that the James Webb Space Telescope successfully cleared launch stress tests in preparation for its launch.

The company completed the assembly of the telescope in August 2019.