NASA launches a revolutionary space telescope that gives a glimpse into the early universe.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was launched early Saturday by rocket from South America’s northeastern coast. It is designed to glimpse the universe in its original form when it formed the first galaxies.
NASA called the revolutionary infrared telescope the premier space science observatory. It was lifted into the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket.
The rocket launched at approximately 7:20 AM EST (1220 GMT) from the European Space Agency (ESA) launch site in French Guiana.
A flawless Christmas Day launch was broadcast live by NASA-ESA on a joint webcast. After years of delays and cost overruns, the liftoff marked the culmination of a decades-long project.
NASA commentator James Webb began a journey back to the universe’s origin from a tropical rain forest.
The two-stage rocket vehicle was equipped with double solid-rocket boosters and roared the launch pad into the cloudy sky.
The 14,000-pound rocket, built in France, was launched into space after a 27-minute hypersonic flight.
It is now about 865 miles above Earth. Over the next 13 days, it will gradually unfold to the size of a tennis court.
The Webb glided gently after being jettisoned. This was captured live by a camera mounted to the rocket’s upper stage.
It was cheered and applauded by the mission control center’s jubilant flight engineers.
Moments later, after Webb’s solar array was deployed, flight controllers confirmed that its power supply was functioning.
The Webb telescope will continue its journey through space for two weeks more, and it will arrive in solar orbit at 1,000,000 miles from Earth. This is four times the distance of the moon.
Webb’s unique orbital path will ensure that it is always aligned with Earth as the telescope and planet circle the sun simultaneously.
Eric is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. He is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.