Years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) often finds itself the butt of jokes. From satirical Webcomics to more scathing criticism, the flagship project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency is an easy target. On March 30 the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore revealed the proposals selected for the General Observer (GO) programs for JWST’s first year of operation, or Cycle 1. A portion of JWST’s opening studies—some 460 hours—will be devoted to Early Release Science (ERS) programs designed to put the telescope’s instruments through their paces. “This is a really big deal,” says Kenneth Sembach, director of STScI, which will run and operate JWST as it does the project’s predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.