As NASA promised, after years waiting, the brand new James Webb Space Telescope is set for liftoff on Christmas Day. For now, it remains perched atop its rocket in French Guiana. Though with liftoff hours away, scientists and space lovers alike are more than ready to put this $10 billion piece of space equipment in orbit. From there, we can’t wait to see what new things we might learn.
The James Webb Space Telescope is set to lift off upon an Ariane 5 Rocket at 7:20 a.m. EST. That is, immediately following Santa’s return to the North Pole. So before you dive into unwrapping those Christmas gifts, perhaps you want to check out our national space agency’s latest monumental feat.
NASA has been consistently providing the play-by-play for the James Webb. However, the agency shared on Instagram that the journey leading up to the craft’s launch came as a joint effort. As the most expensive spacecraft to penetrate outer space, it makes sense NASA has teamed up with international partners.
Due to its monumental size and task, the James Webb Space Telescope came to fruition via, of course, NASA, but also through the work of the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The Christmas Day launch serves to mark a pivotal moment in human history. The James “Webb will study every phase of the cosmos–from our own solar system to galaxies formed 13.5 billion years ago, just after the Big Bang.”
James Webb will Explore the Universe’s Greatest Mysteries
The James Webb Space Telescope is monumental in both size and cost. However, it will hopefully be worth the wait as it is surely the most complex telescope to ever observe our universe. With that said, its mission, which sounds utterly impossible, will take scientists and hobbyist astronomers alike on the trip of a lifetime.
Earlier this year, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told Fox News the new craft will “peer back in time” 13.35 billion years. The magnanimous feat comes as the telescope aims to broaden the knowledge the iconic Hubble Space Telescope has already gleaned after more than three decades of exploring our universe.
James Webb is remarkable as the telescope has the capability to pick up light emitted from stars and galaxies eons ago. In regard to its specific mission, the new spacecraft aims to focus on an era in time identified as the “Epoch of Reionization.” The era came in the “dark ages” that immediately followed the Big Bang.
Further, while we’re more than excited to see what the James Webb telescope sends back to us here on Earth, its final arrival to space does not immediately signify a start to its mission. Due to its size, the telescope will take two weeks to unfold and expand to full size. It then has a million-mile journey to endure before it begins orbiting our sun and hopefully locating some of the most intriguing finds of our lifetime.