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Space & Astronomy

James Webb Space Telescope is delayed again

By T.K. Randall
September 30, 2017 · Comment icon 14 comments



The James Webb Space Telescope will launch eventually. Image Credit: NASA
The launch of the giant orbital telescope has been pushed back from October 2018 to Spring 2019.
The result of a long-running international collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency, the James Webb Space Telescope will provide scientists with an unprecedented view of the cosmos thanks to a resolution and sensitivity that is unrivalled by anything that has come before.

Its primary goals will be to image some of the first stars and galaxies to have formed after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, to better understand the formation of stars and planets and to study the origins of life in the universe.

It should even be able to provide clearer direct imaging of planets in orbit around distant stars.
For now though, all this will have to wait just a little bit longer as the launch of the James Webb has been pushed back again, this time until the beginning of 2019.

"The change in launch timing is not indicative of hardware or technical performance concerns," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

"Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected."

Source: NASA.gov | Comments (14)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
Many, many years and $billions. It's one of the reasons they are using an Ariane 5 to launch it, it hasn't failed since 2002 and last night performed it's 81st consecutive successful flight. It is one of the most reliable launch vehicles ever built.
Comment icon #6 Posted by bmk1245 5 years ago
Bit of relief (fingers crossed). Thanks, Waspie.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Merc14 5 years ago
Thanks waspie, had no idea until your post.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Derek Willis 5 years ago
With a project cost of $8 billion there will be some sweating and fingernail biting during the launch. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Saru 5 years ago
When it finally does go up it'll certainly be one of the most nerve-wracking space launches ever.
Comment icon #10 Posted by bmk1245 5 years ago
With JWST and TM telescope (finally, issues resolved) we will have helluva data.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Merc14 5 years ago
I will be amongst the folks biting their nails Absolutely but I don't think it will match the landing of Curiosity on Mars.  I stayed up late into the next day watching that event and cheered far too loudly when it phoned home.   
Comment icon #12 Posted by Derek Willis 5 years ago
And of course, once the JWST is stationed at the L2 Lagrangian Point there will be no possibility of carrying out repairs. This is an audacious project: but that is what NASA - with some help from ESA - are best at. Curiosity was also an audacious project, but NASA pulled it off. Soon after the landing I saw an interview with Adam Steltzner. He described how during the descent he was thinking: "This is crazy! Are we really doing this?" The sky crane worked to perfection, and Curiosity became one of the most successful missions ever. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Merc14 5 years ago
At the time I remember thinking NASA is back!!!  So many programs had problems (Hubble's flawed mirror, the shuttles blowing up, failures at Mars etc.) since Apollo I thought "They have to get this audacious thing done right." and they did it.  Doesn't make sense, I know, as NASA/JPL/contractors have done some amazing things but Curiosity landing like that was really stretching the envelope but it worked perfectly.    
Comment icon #14 Posted by taniwha 5 years ago
No doubt there's an even better telescope on the drawing board.


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