/ Modified dec 25, 2021 9:55 a.m.

Space telescope launched on daring quest to behold 1st stars

The University of Arizona designed one of the instruments on board.

Webb telescope launch NASA launched the James Webb Telescope on 12/25/2021. The University of Arizona designed the Near-Infrared Camera that the telescope will use.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

The world's largest and most powerful space telescope has blasted off on a high-stakes quest to behold light from the first stars and galaxies.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope rocketed away Saturday from French Guiana in South America. A European Ariane rocket provided the Christmas morning lift.

The $10 billion infrared observatory is intended as the successor to the aging Hubble Space Telescope.

A team from the University of Arizona designed the Near-Infrared Camera that is part of the instrument package on the telescope.

It's hurtling toward its destination 1 million miles away. It will take a month to get there and another five months before it gets to work.

NASA partnered with space agencies in Europe and Canada to build and launch the new telescope.

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