NASA’s James Webb Telescope arrives at its final destination – a million miles from Earth

The $10bn instrument has spent a month hurtling through space and will soon start scanning the cosmos for signs of the dawn of the universe

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has successfully arrived at its final position, one million miles from Earth. 

Launched on Christmas Day, the $10 billion (£7.4 million) telescope has now completed its vast journey after a month hurtling through space. 

It will stay at its current position, Lagrange 2 (L2), for its entire operational lifespan, which is expected to be around 20 years. L2 is a gravitational stable point on the other side of the Earth from the Sun, where the pull of the two bodies cancels out. 

Nasa initially expected Webb to operate for a maximum of 10 years, but its launch from French Guiana was so efficient that engineers now expect it to work for twice that. 

“Everything has gone as smoothly as we hoped, but dared not expect,” said Professor Martin Barstow, chairman of the UK Space Agency’s Science Programme Advisory Committee.