Science Desk, Dec 25 (EFE).- The James Webb space telescope on Saturday left earth on a historic mission to see back in time and image the very first stars to light up the universe.
The Ariane 5 rocket, transporting the telescope, launched at 12:20 GMT from the European spaceport of Kourou, in French Guiana.
The $10 billion telescope will travel 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, about four times further than the moon, and offer an unprecedented view of the universe.
“Webb is an extraordinary mission,” US space agency administrator Bill Nelson said before take-off.
With its cutting-edge and revolutionary technology, the telescope will look back over 13.5 billion years through space to observe the first galaxies that ended the darkness after the Big Bang.
“To watch a launch of this magnitude and at this level of international cooperation is to see incredible machinery in action. I can’t wait to see the science that comes from Webb, but for now, I’m proud of the work that goes on in the background,” director general at European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, wrote on Twitter.
The telescope is jointly developed by NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency, and is the successor to the Hubble telescope.
Webb has a 6.5m-wide golden mirror at the core of its facility and is 100 times more powerful than Hubbe.
Thousands of scientists and engineers have been working on the project for some thirty years. EFE