Background

NASA called on EFM Global expertise to transport the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the most expensive piece of equipment ever shipped, from California, where it was assembled, to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.

Brief

To move the fragile JWST between the two locations, a distance of 5,800 miles, by land and sea, safely, efficiently, securely and discreetly, for handover 10 weeks ahead of launch.

Execution

Having planned the route, EFM Global chartered French cargo vessel MN Colibri to carry the James Webb Telescope in a bespoke shipping container, undertaking multiple port surveys/assessments and site visits. EFM arranged commercial container shipping – beating pandemic-inspired tailbacks through nous and connections – and air freight for supplies, transporting rocket fuel and eight ‘tube trailers’ from Miami to Kourou.

Also, among myriad extracurricular duties, EFM sourced/procured 17,000 hotel nights in Cayenne and Kourou for 300 Nasa workers.

Result

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched to deadline, via an Ariane 6 rocket, on 25 December 2021. Designed to answer outstanding questions about the universe and to make breakthrough discoveries in all fields of astronomy, Webb produced astonishing results in its first 12 months with 19 years’ data and pictures to follow.