NASA’s $10B Space Telescope Launches Successfully

The Washington Post reports:

NASA’s revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope is finally in space. The Webb, charged with seeing deeper into the universe than any telescope ever built, blasted off right on time at 7:20 a.m. Saturday from the European Space Agency’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on South America’s northeast coast.

At launch, the $10 billion telescope, NASA’s long-delayed successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, was folded up upon itself and fully enveloped, unseen, in the cone of Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket, which rolled to the launchpad Thursday.

NPR reports:

The massive telescope is designed to capture infrared light, especially from galaxies so far away that their light has been traveling through space for almost the entire history of the universe.

“We are expecting to see the light from the first galaxies that formed some 100 [million], 200 million years after the Big Bang,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a pre-launch briefing.

“It will deliver world-class science. It’s a revolutionary technology that will study every phase of 13-and-a-half billion years of cosmic history.”