Here’s How You Can Follow NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on Its Million-Mile Journey

by Shelby Scott

Christmas Day saw the historic launch of NASA’s brand new James Webb Space Telescope. As it journeys through space, it promises to capture some intriguing phenomena, things humans could previously only hope to see. Now, however, Outsiders have a momentous opportunity to track the $10 billion spacecraft as it orbits our sun.

Over the last several months, NASA’s kept us updated on the massive, and incredibly expensive, piece of equipment’s journey.

According to BoingBoing, the NASA website, which you can access here, tracks the James Webb Space Telescope’s distance from Earth. Over a brief period of 30 days, we can see the entirety of James Webbs’ million-mile journey. It explores the period from launch until orbital insertion.

As we’ve explored previously, the space telescope’s journey is not as straightforward as we might expect. Previously, we might have imagined the craft launching into space and immediately embarking on its historic journey. However, that is, by far, not the case.

Prior to orbiting the sun, the James Webb Space Telescope must first unfold into its full breadth. The overall process, according to NASA, will take approximately two weeks. During that 14-day period, the telescope will unfold its sunshield and collection of mirrors, followed by its million-mile journey.

The remainder of the 30-day period shows Outsiders the time and distance between James Webb and its insertion point. For progress regarding NASA’s latest feat, be sure to check back here!

James Webb Space Telescope Sees Unique Mission

As BoingBoing highlights, the journey leading up to the historic space craft’s launch has been a long time coming. Prior to this historic launch, James Webb was preceded by the iconic Hubble Space Telescope, which has continued to provide Outsiders with a multitude of fascinating images and discoveries over the last 30 years. During Hubble’s travels, the national space agency began work on the James Webb more than two decades ago in 1996.

Now, in what CNN stated began as a journey from “a tropical rainforest to the edge of time itself,” the James Webb Space Telescope aims to expand and improve upon the knowledge gathered by its predecessor.

As to the telescope travels, the outlet states it’s currently moving at an unimaginable speed of 3,480 miles per hour. Even more dynamically, it equates to nearly a mile per second.

Regarding some of the brand new space telescope’s potential missions, CNN stated, “Webb will peer into the very atmospheres of exoplanets, some of which are potentially habitable, and it could uncover clues in the ongoing search for life Outside of Earth.”