Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by CoolHand on Monday July 24 2017, @06:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the primo-glass dept.

NASA is considering four proposed space telescopes and will likely launch one of them in the 2030s as a flagship mission, like the Hubble Space Telescope or the James Webb Space Telescope:

  • Large Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), a multipurpose follow-up mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope with a 8-16 meter (26-52 foot) primary mirror that would make discoveries on exoplanets, dark matter, star formation, the earliest galaxies of the universe, and within our own solar system.
  • Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx), a smaller telescope than LUVOIR with a 4-8 meter (13-26 foot) primary mirror and instruments sensitive to ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light to find worlds outside our solar system that could harbor life. HabEx could fly with a coronagraph, a component inside the telescope to mask starlight and reveal faint reflections from planets, or a starshade, a separate vehicle flying in formation with the telescope to blot out starlight.
  • Origins Space Telescope, a far-infrared surveyor with a primary mirror up to 9 meters (30 feet) in diameter that would be a successor to NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory. The Origins Space Telescope will investigate how galaxies, stars and planets form, search for water and greenhouse gases on exoplanets, and study interstellar dust.
  • The Lynx X-ray telescope, following in the footsteps of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton mission, will study the dawn of the first black holes, and the epoch of reionization, when the first galaxies and light sources emerged after the Big Bang.

The LUVOIR space telescope would be the closest to a successor of Hubble, covering a similar range of wavelengths. It is also similar in size to two recent proposals: the High Definition Space Telescope (HDST) and the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST).

The JWST was not designed to be serviceable and will likely only last for 5-10 years after its planned launch in October 2018. It has a 6.5 meter primary mirror. Hubble has been operating since 1990 but only has a 2.4 meter primary mirror.

The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope will launch in the 2020s.


Original Submission

Related Stories

GAO: James Webb Space Telescope Launch Date Likely Will be Delayed (Again) 16 comments

The U.S. Government Acountability [sic] Office (GAO) has warned that the launch of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is likely to be delayed again, which could cause the budget cap set by the U.S. Congress to be exceeded:

The U.S. Government Acountability [sic] Office (GAO), a non-partisan group that investigates federal spending and performance, has issued a report on the James Webb Space Telescope that has astronomers worried. "It's likely the launch date will be delayed again," the report concludes — an ominous statement, given that any further delays could risk project cancellation.

Last year NASA announced a delay in the telescope's launch to sometime between March and June 2019. The 5- to 8-month delay came from problems integrating spacecraft components, especially its complex, five-layered sunshield, which must unfold perfectly when the telescope is deployed. Right after requesting the change in launch readiness date, the mission learned of further delays from its contractor, Northrum Grumman, due to "lessons learned from conducting deployment exercises of the spacecraft element and sunshield."

The mission now has 1.5 months of schedule reserve remaining, the GAO finds. Delays during integration and testing are common, "the phase in development where problems are most likely to be found and schedules tend to slip." The project has a total of five phases of integration and testing, and has made significant progress on phases three and four, with the fifth phase beginning in July.

GAO's 31-page report, February 2018: JWST: Integration and Test Challenges Have Delayed Launch and Threaten to Push Costs Over Cap.

Also at Science Magazine.

Previously: Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Delayed to Spring 2019
Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Could be Further Delayed

Related: James Webb Space Telescope Vibration Testing Completed
NASA Considering Flagship Space Telescope Options for the 2030s
WFIRST Space Observatory Could be Scaled Back Due to Costs
JWST: Too Big to Fail?
Trump Administration Budget Proposal Would Cancel WFIRST


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday July 24 2017, @06:21PM (24 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 24 2017, @06:21PM (#543806)

    Cancel the last 4 Ford-class carriers (leaving the US with only 6 or 7), shift some of the money to build all 4 telescopes, and still have enough cash left to buy navy ships which aren't expensive targets for advanced navies...

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Monday July 24 2017, @06:36PM (2 children)

      by Arik (4543) on Monday July 24 2017, @06:36PM (#543818) Journal
      It is odd isn't it? A rational people in our position would have declared victory at the end of the cold war, gone home and re-oriented ourselves to conquering space instead of Asia. It's not like there aren't ample opportunities for the big contractors to make the same sort of insane profits doing the latter as the former, is it? It's not like a people can't be tuned to PvE struggle as well as PvP, is it?
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Monday July 24 2017, @06:59PM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 24 2017, @06:59PM (#543832) Journal

        re-oriented ourselves to conquering space

        What bluster! What bullshit!

        We can't even service a few miserable telescopes in near earth orbit, and you want to "conquer space".
        It would be laughable is it wasn't so utterly pathetic.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Arik on Monday July 24 2017, @07:18PM

          by Arik (4543) on Monday July 24 2017, @07:18PM (#543849) Journal
          That's why it's called a challenge, right?

          And honestly, the chances of doing that are probably better than the chances of militarily dominating China in their own back yard for much longer, no matter how much money we are willing to borrow from them in order to do it.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by frojack on Monday July 24 2017, @06:55PM (8 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 24 2017, @06:55PM (#543828) Journal

      No US aircraft carrier has ever been successfully attacked since the end of World War II.

      (The "Card" was nothing but an aircraft freighter with no air launch capabilities when it was sunk while docked in Saigon).

      They are extremely hard to find and harder to approach. The inexpensive navy ships you favor (with your vast strategic expertise in this field), have not fared anywhere near as well.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday July 24 2017, @07:08PM (5 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 24 2017, @07:08PM (#543840)

        Remind me which "advanced navy" the US has fought since WW2, and how many times the availability of 10 Nimitz carriers was proven necessary.
        The US is regularly using overwhelming force against gnats, while constantly preparing for a two-fronts world war that cannot happen. Regular exercises and estimates indicate that major opponents are stocking weapons to deny aircraft carriers access to places where they would need to be to be used in a major conflict. Until the latest laser defense systems are proven to work reliably against swarms of sea-skimming hypersonic missiles and fast torpedoes, the aircraft carrier is just a big target. Which makes it useless against major powers. And you don't need 10 against Afghanistan.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday July 24 2017, @07:14PM (4 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 24 2017, @07:14PM (#543845) Journal

          You would rather use matched forces, and take you chances with the luck of the draw?

          In one sentence you predict massive losses, and in the next you say we don't need 10.
          Go back to your bathtub toy boats Bob, and let the navy handle this.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Arik on Monday July 24 2017, @07:23PM (1 child)

            by Arik (4543) on Monday July 24 2017, @07:23PM (#543852) Journal
            The thing is it may sound inconsistent but it makes perfect sense.

            Ten isn't enough, long term, if you accept as untouchable the goal of militarily dominating China in the south China sea. That goal in itself is so ambitious that it can justify any and every military expenditure we could possibly make. It just isn't realistic.

            But it's also not necessary. Quite frankly, it's foolish, it would be silly were the consequences not so grave.

            Drop that goal and a few other similar ones and there would no longer be any need for these enormously expensive floating airfields, and the enormous amounts of money spent building and operating them could be used on more productive things.
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24 2017, @10:46PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24 2017, @10:46PM (#543921)

              Exactly. More aircraft carriers.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Monday July 24 2017, @09:19PM (1 child)

            by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 24 2017, @09:19PM (#543880)

            > In one sentence you predict massive losses, and in the next you say we don't need 10.

            My bathtub toys tell me that either
            1) your weak opponents can't touch them, and you therefore only need a few (2 or 3 in operation, one rotating in/out, 1 in maintenance).
            2) your strong opponents can spam-sink 5 of them, and you'd be really dumb to say "wait, I've got 5 more a the second wave", so you keep them all home and blow shit up with submarines, planes, and cheaper cruise missile ships.

            Missiles are cheap, carriers are really slow to build. The difference between having 5 or 10 is how much you waste, because there is not rational reason for the hundreds-of-foreign-bases US to put 8 carriers in play at once. Heck, even to invade Saddam, how many carriers were used? There's a reason very few navies bother to have a carrier, and almost none have more than one.
            That's not even touching the big issue that most nations able to sink US carriers also have nukes.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24 2017, @10:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24 2017, @10:49PM (#543923)

              Yeah but who would waste a $10M nuke to sink a $2B aircraft carrier, if their national security depended on it? Burn's on you bro.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Monday July 24 2017, @08:16PM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday July 24 2017, @08:16PM (#543865) Journal

        I think that has more to do with the advent of the atomic bomb and America becoming the top dog superpower than the defense capabilities of the aircraft carrier. Aircraft carriers are vulnerable to being spammed and sunk by relatively cheap missiles, which is why they are looking at adding laser weapons:

        http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/lasers-the-us-navys-next-big-mega-weapon-19997 [nationalinterest.org]
        http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/americas-new-aircraft-carriers-will-use-lasers-annihilate-13140 [nationalinterest.org]

        As Rear Adm. Manazir pointed out, placing laser weapons on aircraft carriers makes a ton of sense. Currently, many fear that aircraft carriers are becoming obsolete as precision-guided anti-ship missiles—most notably, China’s DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM)—proliferate to America’s enemies, who could use them to sink carriers.

        The U.S. Navy’s carrier strike groups (CSGs) have considerable air and missile defense firepower, but traditional missile defense systems still suffer from basic arithmetic problems. To begin with, offensive missiles continue to be significantly cheaper to produce and operate than the interceptors used to defend against them. In addition, ships can only carry so many interceptor missiles on board, and the more space given to anti-air and missile defense systems the less offensive firepower they will wield.

        Laser and directed energy weapons promise to solve both of these issues. As Manazir explained, “There are finite numbers of missiles and finite installations on the carrier. If you can put a directed energy piece on there with its lower cost per round, you can see where you can start to reduce the cost overall and measurably increase the protection of the ship."

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday July 25 2017, @02:38AM

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @02:38AM (#543973) Homepage Journal

        On the weekend I commissioned an aircraft carrier. They painted it grey, which people say is the color of success. And they're entitled to that opinion. But my opinion is that gold is the color of success. I always gravitate to gold and I've been very, very successful. If I put my name in big grey letters on top of my buildings? No one would look because grey is too boring. My Navy guy says the grey paint job is to make the ships hard to see. The aircraft carrier isn't hard to see. It's hard to look at, because it looks boring. But it's easy to see because it's huge. And I understand that it can be seen on the radar. And probably it can be seen from space. Mike Rogers says we need a Space Corps so we can win wars in space. Very important! 🇺🇸

    • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Monday July 24 2017, @10:14PM (11 children)

      by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Monday July 24 2017, @10:14PM (#543903)

      As an outsider, I live in New Zealand, I have never understood the American predilection with insanely huge military spending.

      The US spends many times more then any other nation on having the biggest military; but what for? Who are you so afraid of? Who is coming to attack you? What is the point of having so many guns/bombs/missiles/boats/planes/subs?

      I also don't understand why the American tax payer is happy to foot the bill; when issues like education and health care are is such a sad state in your country; infrastructure is in need of repair and still taxes are spent on more military power.

      I would love to see some of that military spending going to space research/development. But I think (from an outsiders point of view) that you have so much more to spend the money on closer to home. Keep the NASA budget the same (adjusted for inflation) and cut spending on another couple of hundred tanks and a boat or two and fix some bridges and take care of your sick and wounded.

      --
      Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24 2017, @10:52PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24 2017, @10:52PM (#543925)

        As a New Zealander also, what happens when someone unfriendly knocks on our door? There is definitely a conversation to be had about this.

        • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Monday July 24 2017, @11:14PM (2 children)

          by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Monday July 24 2017, @11:14PM (#543933)

          It really depends on what they want; if someone is trying to invade; then we are SOL since we effectively have no military power. However in todays world an invasion is extremely unlikely; economic invasion is much more likely and is in fact an ongoing process.

          But in the theoretical case that someone is going to invade. We would call for assistance from our allies; which include the US. I am not advocating that the US stops military spending; I am merely pointing out that the level of spending is not justified.

          Dropping their spending by 20% on military and reallocating that money to other endeavors still keeps the money in their economy and would not diminish their position of #1 military power in the world.

          --
          Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday July 24 2017, @11:41PM (1 child)

            by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 24 2017, @11:41PM (#543940)

            > Dropping their spending by 20% on military and reallocating that money to other endeavors

            Few Americans fully realize that the $50 Billion raise that Trumps wants to give the Pentagon is a mere 10% of the current half-trillion annual defense budget.
            Them numbers just dang too big...

            • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Monday July 24 2017, @11:52PM

              by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Monday July 24 2017, @11:52PM (#543942)

              Just imagine going the other way; instead of spending $5.5Trillion (up by 10%) over the next 10 years on the military. Cut that to "only" $4Trillion (down by 20%).

              That remaining $1Trillion could do a lot of good in other places; How much good would an extra $100 Billion do for the schooling system over the next 10 years? How about an extra $200 Billion on infrastructure over the next 10 years; how would the various research bodies use and extra $100 Billion, maybe a battery break through; fusion; cancer not being a thing anymore. The mind boggles at what we can achieve given the motivation and funding.

              --
              Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 24 2017, @10:59PM (3 children)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday July 24 2017, @10:59PM (#543927) Journal

        You spend your money right, and your NASA funding can help the military and vice versa.

        That WFIRST telescope in the summary? A declassified NRO satellite donated to NASA. It's considered obsolete, but part of the agreement is that NASA does not point it at Earth.

        And don't forget the X-37B [wikipedia.org].

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Absolutely.Geek on Monday July 24 2017, @11:23PM (2 children)

          by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Monday July 24 2017, @11:23PM (#543937)

          Agreed; some of the NASA and military goals overlap; but that still doesn't look at the root of the issue; from my point of view.

          Likewise some military spending overlaps health care; but that doesn't really increase health funding to a significant degree. e.g. keeping wounded solders alive has probably helped many more car crash victims then it has helped solders; but that same research and development could have been done without the pretext of having to save military lives; it is a question of motivation.

          --
          Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 24 2017, @11:30PM (1 child)

            by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday July 24 2017, @11:30PM (#543939) Journal

            Well, if a future President wants to attempt "cutting" U.S. defense military spending, they could realign funding into programs that directly benefit NASA, health research, and other sciences. Buff up DARPA, create the Space Corps, launch more satellites (if SpaceX gets more Falcon 9/Heavy contracts, that helps them fund the ITS). Buy less aircraft carriers, F35s, F22s, but put frigging lasers on the ones you do buy.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Monday July 24 2017, @11:43PM

              by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Monday July 24 2017, @11:43PM (#543941)

              This is all good but there are other spending targets that don't overlap with military spending; education and infrastructure are two that popped off the top of my head that could use some of a theoretical military spending cut.

              If the US dropped 20% of its military budget; some could be reallocated to projects that overlap with military goals but some would not. Overall the amount of spending would not be cut; money would still flow around the US economy; jobs would be created and some would be given a more secure future.

              Even at 80% of the current spend on military; the US still maintains the #1 spot at global superpower. And with appropriate allocation of funds to overlapping projects the cut may effectively be to 81 - 82%.

              This is all just fluff; since it isn't going to happen. But it always amazes me that the US tax payer is happy spending so much on having such an expensive military.

              --
              Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by leftover on Tuesday July 25 2017, @12:11AM (2 children)

        by leftover (2448) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @12:11AM (#543948)

        There are some interesting and involved discussions in reply to your question but none of them provide the 'real' answer. Which is: to our great misfortune, Dwight Eisenhower's warning about the military-industrial complex was ignored. War became ultrabig business and it continues because it is insanely profitable to a very few individuals. Those individuals have used these profits to purchase and maintain control of the political apparatus. Wishes and votes of the people are simply unimportant to them.

        Every person I discuss this with, regardless of their current political persuasion, is all in favor of drastically reducing military spending and tending to the problems we are facing. Nobody in control cares what we think.

        --
        Bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated.
        • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Tuesday July 25 2017, @12:16AM

          by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @12:16AM (#543951)

          Every person I discuss this with, regardless of their current political persuasion, is all in favor of drastically reducing military spending and tending to the problems we are facing. Nobody in control cares what we think.

          it is sad that the will of the people is ignored; it is ignored here also, maybe to a lesser extent but still ignored.

          --
          Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
        • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Tuesday July 25 2017, @01:11AM

          by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @01:11AM (#543962)

          Maybe that could be the next soylent poll; "US military budget spend" answers:
          Dem - increase
          Dem - decrease
          Dem - same level
          Rep - increase
          Rep - decrease
          Rep - same level
          Ind / Non-US - increase
          Ind / Non-US - decrease
          Ind / Non-US - same level

          --
          Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:24AM (#544008)

    Wait until the James Webb scope is successfully launched and deployed. Its sun shield has really complex unfolding steps and not a lot of forgiveness. And it's too far away for shuttles to visit even if shuttles were still around. I can picture a jam comparable to the Galileo probe's antenna. Its design makes me nervous. If it fails, it's probably cheaper to solve the problem and launch a clone rather than create a brand new scope from scratch.

(1)