James Webb Telescope, the world’s largest and most powerful telescope worth $10 billion, left the Earth for an adventurous quest of traveling back to the beginning of times when the universe came into being with the Big Bang.
The telescope is a joint work of American, Canadian, and European Space agencies.
Scientists launched a historic telescope to study the beginning of time
Engineers and scientists were jubilant when they saw the successful launch of the most expensive telescope ever built in history. Within half an hour, a ground antenna in Kenya picked up a signal, which confirmed the successful historic launch.
The Webb is designed to see the time of the birth of the universe some 13.5 billion years ago; it will study the formation of the first stars and galaxies, which will give the world unseen insights.
Rob Navias, a TV commentator of NASA, noted the telescope would be able to see the birth of the universe.
Merry Christmas! We got you a new telescope.
The James Webb Space Telescope launched today, beginning a one-million-mile journey to see 13.5 billion years into the past. Follow @NASAWebb and join the quest to #UnfoldTheUniverse: https://t.co/TlYpoUHdJu pic.twitter.com/ilwWPuIJun
— NASA (@NASA) December 25, 2021
Although the observatory was launched in space using one of the most dependable rockets, i.e., Ariane, the anxiety attached to the event was major, due to the fact that scientists of different countries worked over 30 years to make this episode a reality.
The next six months are worrisome for scientists working on the Webb project
While the telescope will reach its destination some 1.5 million km away in almost a month, it will take five extra months to start scanning the cosmos. So, the scientists are gearing up to move to the next set of activities that will span over the next six months.
Bill Nelson, a NASA administrator, noted a lot of things still need to work perfectly; the risk is still great, but so is the reward.
Likewise, Nelson added this mission will give mankind a better understanding of the universe, our place in it, and how we reached this stage. Astronomers worldwide were excited after the launch and called it a wonderful Christmas present.
An official of the National Science Foundation’s NORILAB, Tod Lauer, noted the launch must be described with the noblest word in the astrophysics jargon “Nominal.” This word is used by space teams when they see rockets operating as planned.
The CEO of Arianespace Stephane Israel said minutes before the historic liftoff that this is the launch for humanity.
Another scientist, Klaud Pontipiddan, who worked in the Webb Project, asserted seeing everything moving perfectly was a beautiful thing for him. He’s hoping the world will be able to see the formation of the first galaxies about 13.5 billion years ago.
Lawmakers also praised the moment, as the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Eddie Bernie Johnson, noted the launch would be the historic milestone in the space sciences.
Congratulations to all who lifted the James Webb telescope to the heavens this morning. An astonishing engineering feat, worthy of the history books! Long may it reveal the universe's secrets to us back here on Earth.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 25, 2021
A planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel said the James Webb telescope would take the world into the new age of astrophysics.
The James Webb telescope is named after one of the scientists of the Apollo Moon landings and is a successor of the Hubble telescope.