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The golden mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope on Earth. Photo: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA's $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch to space on Christmas Day.

Why it matters: The JWST is designed to capture the light of some of the first galaxies that coalesced after the Big Bang, learn more about how stars form, peer into the atmospheres of alien planets and more.

How to watch: The telescope — which is considered the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope — is expected to take flight from Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:20am ET on Christmas Day.

  • You can watch the launch live via NASA TV starting at 6am ET.

Between the lines: Getting the JWST to the launch pad has been a long time coming.

  • The project has been decades in the making with technical and budgetary delays that caused the cost of the telescope to balloon over time.

What's next: The launch is just the beginning for the JWST and the nervous scientists and engineers working with the mission on Earth.

  • After launch, the large telescope will need to unfurl in space, deploying its large heat shield, mirrors and instruments over the course of weeks as it makes its way out about 1 million miles from Earth.
  • That great distance will mean the JWST won't be eligible to be serviced in the way the Hubble Space Telescope after it got to space.

Go deeper: NASA's next great space telescope has arrived

Go deeper

Updated Jan 15, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Earth's climate went off the rails in 2021, reports show

Temperature departures from average in degrees Celsius during 2021. (Berkeley Earth).

Global warming became local to a new and devastating extent in 2021, with the year ranking as the sixth-warmest on record, according to new, independent data from NASA, NOAA and Berkeley Earth.

Why it matters: Each year's data adds to the relentless long-term trend, which shows rapid warming due overwhelmingly to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions during the past several decades in particular.

Hope King, author of Closer
38 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.