NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is an infrared space observatory that launched on Dec 25, 2021,

from ESA's launch site at Kourou in French Guiana,

at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT; 9:20 a.m. local time in Kourou), aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket.

NASA released the first scientific images from Webb at a live event on July, 12.

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope — NASA's largest and most powerful space science telescope

will probe the cosmos to uncover the history of the universe from the Big Bang to alien planet formation and beyond.

It is one of NASA's Great Observatories, huge space instruments

that include the likes of the Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into the cosmos.

It took 30 days for the James Webb Space Telescope to travel nearly a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) to its

permanent home: a Lagrange point — a gravitationally stable location in space.

The telescope arrived at L2, the second sun-Earth Lagrange point on Jan. 24, 2022

L2 is a spot in space near Earth that lies opposite from the sun;

this orbit will allow the telescope to stay in line with Earth as it orbits the sun.

It has been a popular spot for several other space telescopes, including the Herschel Space Telescope and the Planck Space Observatory.

Launch date: Dec. 25, 2021. Cost (at time of launch): $10 billion.

James webb space telescope: key facts

Orbit: JWST will orbit the sun, around the second Lagrange point (L2), nearly 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth.

James webb space telescope: key facts

Primary mirror size: 21.3 feet (6.5 meters) across. Sunshield: 69.5 ft by 46.5 ft (22 meters x 12 meters). Mass: 14,300 lbs (6,500 kg).

James webb space telescope: key facts