Why is the James Webb Space Telescope such a big deal?

The telescope has been successfully launched and is current self-assembling in space. But what’s all the fuss about?

The James Webb Telescope launching into a grey sky, its blazing trail reflected in the waters of a lake.
Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket launches with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope onboard, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europes Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre at Europes Spaceport, at the Guiana Space Center on December 25, 2021, in Kourou, French Guiana. Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images