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.