Webb was launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, on Dec. 25, 2021, to probe structures and origins of the universe.
After traveling nearly 1.5 million kilometers, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope arrived at its destination in space on Monday. Webb fired its onboard thrusters at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (1900 GMT) for nearly five minutes to complete the final postlaunch course correction to its trajectory.
This mid-course correction burn inserted Webb toward its final orbit around the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2). Webb will orbit the Sun, in line with Earth, as it orbits L2, according to NASA.
"Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work ensuring Webb's safe arrival at L2 today," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "We're one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can't wait to see Webb's first new views of the universe this summer!"
Webb's orbit will allow it a wide view of the cosmos at any given moment, as well as the opportunity for its telescope optics and scientific instruments to get cold enough to function and perform optimal science.
The James Webb Space Telescope fired two thrusters and slipped into orbit around a point in space nearly a million miles from Earth Monday where it can capture light from the first stars and galaxies to form in the aftermath of the Big Bang. https://t.co/qs5MPxwddL pic.twitter.com/BmSGeF9w0E— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) January 24, 2022
Webb's primary mirror segments and secondary mirror have been deployed from their launch positions, and engineers will begin the sophisticated three-month process of aligning the telescope's optics to nearly nanometer precision.
Webb was launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, on Dec. 25 last year to probe structures and origins of the universe.
Webb is NASA's largest and most powerful space science telescope ever constructed. With a 6.5-meter primary mirror, the large infrared telescope will study every phase of cosmic history -- from within the solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.