James Webb Telescope Goes to Space and Inaugurates Astronomy Revolution


James Webb: The wait is over! The James Webb Space Telescope was launched into space this Saturday (25), at 9:20 am (GMT). The apparatus departed in an Ariane 5 rocket, at the European spaceport in French Guiana.

The time has come for us to remember his saga until this historic moment.

The James Webb, affectionately known by its acronym in English, JWST, was first proposed in 1996, when the initial idea of ​​a telescope that observed the deep universe from a distant orbit was still called the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) . Only in 2002, after the project matured, was it renamed in honor of a former NASA administrator, James Edwin Webb (1906 – 1992), who led several important space missions, the most famous being the Apollo program, which took man to the Moon for the first time in 1969.

Evolving since then, the construction of the JWST was spearheaded by the US space agency and had international collaboration from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The result was an instrument that not only represents the largest telescope in history ever sent into space, but also the most powerful space telescope in countless ways. Considered the successor telescope to the one that made history in recent decades, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the JWST will set a new milestone in the modern era of space observations.

Its scientific goals can be summarized in four main points: to study the light coming from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the Universe, just a few million years after the Big Bang; study the formation and evolution of galaxies; study the origin and evolution of stars and planetary systems; and, finally, studying the origins of life.