Launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America, the Webb observatory is NASA’s revolutionary flagship mission that will also explore the solar system, as well as planets orbiting other stars, called exoplanets
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched the James Webb Space Telescope to explore the first galaxies in the early universe.
Launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America, the Webb observatory is NASA’s revolutionary flagship mission that will also explore the solar system, as well as planets orbiting other stars, called exoplanets.
The Webb observatory is a joint effort of NASA with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency. It is the scientific successor to NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.
The technology to be used by the telescope will enable the exploration of every phase of cosmic history, including the solar system and the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, the US space agency said.
The Webb telescope is expected to disclose new and unexpected discoveries, which will help in understanding the origins of the universe.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “The James Webb Space Telescope represents the ambition that NASA and our partners maintain to propel us forward into the future.
“The promise of Webb is not what we know we will discover; it’s what we don’t yet understand or can’t yet fathom about our universe. I can’t wait to see what it uncovers!”
Following six months of commissioning in space, the world’s largest and most complex space science observatory is expected to deliver its first images.
With four advanced instruments with highly sensitive infrared detectors, it will assess infrared light from celestial objects with enhanced clarity.
Ball Aerospace designed and built the advanced optical technology and lightweight mirror system for the telescope to enable the detection of light from the first stars and galaxies.
The space science observatory was announced as the Next Generation Space Telescope in 1996 and renamed James Webb Space Telescope in 2002.