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Space & Astronomy

James Webb Space Telescope has launched successfully

By T.K. Randall
December 25, 2021 · Comment icon 28 comments

Lift-off! The launch was a complete success. Image Credit: NASA
After 25 years of development, the next-generation space telescope has finally made it into orbit.
Just in time for Christmas and after more than a decade of delays and setbacks, the James Webb Space Telescope soared into the heavens atop an Arianne 5 rocket this morning.

The result of a long-running international collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency, the next-generation observatory will provide scientists with an unprecedented view of the cosmos thanks to a resolution and sensitivity that is unrivalled by anything that has come before.

Its primary goals will be to image some of the first stars and galaxies to have formed after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, to better understand the formation of stars and planets and to study the origins of life in the universe.

It should even be able to provide clearer direct imaging of planets in orbit around distant stars.
To make all this possible, the telescope will be positioned much further away from the Earth than the Hubble Space Telescope at a distance of 930,000 miles, which is beyond the orbit of the Moon.

What it finds over the next few years could revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos.

"Webb is an exemplary mission that signifies the epitome of perseverance," said program director Gregory L. Robinson.

"I am inspired by our dedicated team and our global partnerships that have made this incredible endeavour possible."

Comments (28)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
The 1st images should be coming back to us in say late June or early Luly?
Comment icon #20 Posted by and then 11 months ago
It's supposed to arrive on station in about a month.  It's already past our moon and outbound.  One million miles in a single month    Saw this a couple of days ago 
Comment icon #21 Posted by toast 11 months ago
Where is Webb?  
Comment icon #22 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
Thank you for this! I haven't read too much on this but are there any concerns of the Webb being affected by space debris? What would the plan be if it is damaged or there's an issue where it doesn't operate properly?
Comment icon #23 Posted by toast 11 months ago
I havent read any reports of a damage yet and as Wepp is past the Moon`s orbit already I dont think there will be any hazard by space debris because there isnt any out there. The plan would be that all of us would totally freak out. Or to call Bruce Willis.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Cookie Monster 11 months ago
I watched a documentary on it and its powerful enough to see a LED on a planet surface a million light years away.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
Ok, I was thinking more of meteorites and the like. I'm sure there's a low probability bit didn't know what (if any) plans there might be such a huge endeavor. Bah, Bruce would just muck it up at this point. I would think the team of Matthew McConaughey and Neil DeGrasse Tyson could get the job done.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
Saw the image in this fellow's post. Not sure how accurate it is, but it looks wonderful. Also, it's very interesting to note the difference in temperature between the hot and cold sides.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Still Waters 11 months ago
James Webb Space Telescope: Sun shield is fully deployed The new James Webb telescope has passed a major milestone in its quest to image the first stars to shine in the cosmos. Controllers on Tuesday completed the deployment of the space observatory's giant kite-shaped sun shield. Only with this tennis court-sized barrier will Webb have the sensitivity to detect the signals coming from the most distant objects in the Universe. Commissioning work will now concentrate on unpacking the telescope's mirrors, the largest of which is 6.5m wide.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
Webb is now fully deployed!!!

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