NASA finally launches telescope successfully
While the billionaire space race attracts more and more tech billionaires and celebrities to the stars, NASA launched a telescope and maintained its scientific mission. NASA’s most powerful telescope ever was launched on Christmas morning. Onboard an Ariane 5 rocket, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched into orbit.
For the next ten years, the telescope will be NASA’s primary observatory. NASA used Twitter to announce the launch’s success, the tweet read as “We have LIFTOFF of the @NASAWebb Space Telescope! At 7:20 am ET (12:20 UTC), the beginning of a new, exciting decade of science climbed to the sky. Webb’s mission to #UnfoldTheUniverse will change our understanding of space as we know it.”
The Webb was launched from a spaceport in French Guiana run by the European Space Agency. The ESA sees the launch as a gift for the holidays. It tweeted soon after the launch,” LIFTOFF of @esa_webb and @ariane5 #VA256 on 25 December 2021, at 12:20 GMT/13:20 CET, an awesome #Christmas present to the international @NASAWebb @csa_asc and @esa teams and to space science!!! #WebbFliesAriane”
Following the flight, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson thanked the crews who worked so hard to make the holiday launch possible. “This is a great day for planet Earth,” according to Nelson (via CNN). “Thanks to the team.
You all have just been incredible. Over three decades, you produced this and that is now going to take us back to the very beginnings of the universe. We are going to discover incredible things that we never imagined.”
The Webb Telescope’s purpose includes studying the atmospheres of exoplanets (planets that orbit the sun outside of our solar system). Some exoplanets could support life. They may hold hints to finding life on other planets if they are studied.
The telescope will also look for signals from the first galaxies that formed after the big bang. These findings may provide insight into our solar system’s mysteries. The Webb will also turn inwards to investigate the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole.
The Webb Telescope has been in the works since 2004 at NASA. The observatory’s launch was delayed due to technical issues and the epidemic. With the help of the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, it has now been completed.
Don’t hold your breath for a speedy update from the telescope. The Webb will travel 1 million kilometres from Earth in a month. After that, it will go through a six-month commissioning period. Its initial findings are expected to be published in late 2022.