The James Webb Space Telescope, NASA's premier space observatory of the next decade, successfully launched on Christmas morning.
The Webb telescope has endured years of delays, including a combination of factors brought on by the pandemic and technical challenges.
The European Space Agency aptly referred to it as "an awesome Christmas present " for the international launch teams, as well as the whole of space science, on Twitter.
The telescope includes instruments from the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
"The launch of the Webb Space Telescope is a pivotal moment -- this is just the beginning for the Webb mission," said Gregory L. Robinson, Webb's program director at NASA Headquarters, in a statement.
When the spacecraft unfurls in space, Webb will undergo the most difficult and complex deployment sequence ever attempted in space.
This image shows the full-scale James Webb Space Telescope model at South by Southwest in Austin. »