Space telescope launched on daring quest to behold first stars

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In this photo provided by NASA, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, is seen at the launch pad, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at Europe’s Spaceport, the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope has infrared vision, allowing it to peer deeper into the universe, all the way to the first stars and galaxies. Liftoff is set for Saturday morning, Dec. 24, on a French rocket from South America. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

(Associated Press) — 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.

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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