After months of delay and hardships, the Webb Space telescope launched on Christmas Day, December 25th, 2021. The telescope lifted off from the Guiana Space Center at 7:20 am EST and was live-streamed by Nasa on multiple channels across the globe.
The James Webb Telescope is "the world’s largest and most powerful telescope built to date," and it took more than 30 years to develop according to NBC news. Costing 10 billion USD, the observatory is to be used to study the history of the universe, and in particular, its earlier days.
Delay of Launch
The telescope faced a lot of difficulty in launching due to a massive delay from technical, weather, and pandemic-related issues. It even faced a delay earlier this month due to a faulty data cable found by Nasa and terrible weather conditions in Guiana, forcing the launch date onto Christmas according to space.com.
The Launch Itself
Although delayed, the launch itself went very successfully and the telescope is now in space, trudging along toward its final destination: an orbit around the sun, a million-plus miles away from Earth. As it treks toward its destination in the next 29 days, the telescope will slowly unfold itself and deploy its technology out from its current closed and collapsed state according to CNBC.
Also according to CNBC, the telescope is now to observe the history of the universe and the early days of the universe. The way it will do this is with its newer and more advanced technology, it will be able to see further into the galaxy, and act as a time machine. It will act as a time machine because light takes time to travel through space. What this means is that the telescope studying light from extremely distant galaxies will actually be studying what the universe looked like ages ago.
For now, however, everything is still very much up in the air. The launch is only part of the telescope being successful. The telescope still has to undergo the aforementioned deployments and its travel of a million-plus mile through space.