On December 25, the Ariane V launch vehicle launched the world's largest and most powerful space telescope, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, into orbit to study the evolution of the Universe.

The telescope was launched from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. Twenty-seven minutes into the flight, the space telescope separated from the launch vehicle, and its solar array was deployed.

NASA broadcasted the telescope launch live:

The James Webb Space Telescope will now embark on a 29-day journey to reach the Second Lagrangian point, which is located 1.5 million km from the Earth.

The telescope's task is to study the early Universe – the evolution of galaxies and the composition of the first stars. The spacecraft will also study planetary systems and search for signs of life on exoplanets.

It took more than two decades and almost $9 billion to develop and create the telescope, with an initial budget of $1 billion. James Webb is nearly three times the size of the Hubble Space Telescope, and its scientific instruments are seven times more sensitive. The telescope is now expected to operate in space for at least 5-10 years.