Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Monday July 20 2020, @05:44AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the trick-or-telescope dept.

NASA Ominously Chooses Halloween 2021 to Launch Long-Delayed Space Telescope:

NASA hopes to launch the much-anticipated James Webb Space Telescope [(JWST)] from French Guiana on October 31, 2021, the agency announced today. Ongoing technical challenges and the covid-19 pandemic were cited as reasons for the latest delay to the project.

[...] The new date—October 31, 2021—represents a seven-month delay from the most recent launch target of March 2021 atop an Ariane 5 rocket.

[...] James Webb is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which is now 30 years old. The project is currently in the integration and testing phase of development, the final phase before it gets transported to French Guiana. Once in space, some million miles away from Earth, Webb will use its infrared telescope to observe some of the oldest galaxies in the universe, study star-forming nebulae, and even scan the atmospheres of distant exoplanets.

[...] At a NASA press conference earlier today, Gregory Robinson, JWST program director, said the decision to move the launch from March 2021 to October 2021 had to do with lingering development challenges and hardships imposed by the covid-19 pandemic. NASA, he said, was planning to re-evaluate the project's schedule margins prior to covid-19, but the pandemic forced the issue, resulting in yet another delay.

When asked to account for the seven-month delay, Robinson said three months had to do with covid-19 and two months had to do with existing technical issues, such as pending vibration testing, a review of the telescope's new sunshield, risk-reduction measures, among other outstanding tasks. The remaining two months were added as a buffer, said Robinson.

NASA's press release.


Original Submission

Related Stories

JWST Launch Christmas Morning 55 comments

James Webb Space Telescope reaches launch pad for Christmas liftoff

The James Webb Space Telescope is due to launch on Saturday (Dec. 25) during a 32-minute window that opens at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT). The massive observatory will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 rocket operated by European launch provider Arianespace. You can watch launch coverage live at Space.com beginning at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT) courtesy of NASA or you can watch directly at the agency's website.

ESA launch kit (PDF).

Previously:


Original Submission

The Launch Date for the James Webb Space Telescope has Slipped Again 3 comments

It looks like the launch date for the James Webb Space Telescope has slipped again. It was slated to launch this coming Halloween but now it will be at mid-November at the earliest.

According to Ars Technica:

Last summer, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) set an October 31, 2021, launch date for the $10 billion telescope. The instrument, which is the largest science observatory ever placed into space, will launch on a European Ariane 5 rocket from a spaceport in French Guiana. Now, however, three considerations have pushed the launch into November or possibly early December.

[...] The launch campaign, which begins when the telescope arrives in French Guiana, requires 55 days. Asked whether this means that Webb will not launch until mid-November at the earliest, Zurbuchen said this assessment was correct.

Engadget added:

A delay of a few weeks is not much, considering the initial launch timeframe was around 2007. Still, there are reasons for optimism. Pushing back the launch by weeks rather than months or years is an indication that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter for the successor to Hubble.

Previously:

  1. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Passes Crucial Launch-Simulation Tests
  2. NASA's Webb to Examine Objects in the Graveyard of the Solar System
  3. NASA Ominously Chooses Halloween 2021 to Launch Long-Delayed Space Telescope
  4. James Webb Space Telescope Will "Absolutely" Not Launch in March
  5. New Exoplanet Life Detection Method for James Webb Telescope

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: 2) by Barenflimski on Monday July 20 2020, @06:18AM (3 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Monday July 20 2020, @06:18AM (#1023994)

    Day of the Dead is a celebration of those that came before us. Halloween is a happy day for kiddo's. Why is October 31st ominous? A large portion of the world doesn't do anything special on that date. Ominous for just people north of the equator in the America's?

    What's next for this authors click-baity headlines? Counting black cats before the launch? Making sure there are no ladders? Making sure there are no mirrors? Lemme guess. His next headline will read, "New James Webb Satellite launch has potential to bring 126 years of bad luck to United States!!" I didn't click the article to see the publication, but just by the headline "The Sun" comes to mind.

    As for me I'm excited to see another date put on the calendar. I'll be watching and hoping that the thing makes it into its final position and isn't blurry.

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by maxwell demon on Monday July 20 2020, @07:40AM (1 child)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 20 2020, @07:40AM (#1024007) Journal

      Making sure there are no mirrors?

      For a space telescope, that would be a very bad idea.

      But then, it's only broken mirrors that are supposed to cause bad luck. And making sure that the mirror doesn't break is actually a very good idea when launching a space telescope.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday July 20 2020, @10:55AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 20 2020, @10:55AM (#1024029) Journal
        But suppose the space mirror collides with a space black cat in orbit? That could be seven years of space bad luck. Seven years! Well, plus the bad luck one gets from running into a traditionally unlucky 6-10 kg vertebrate at 10+km/s.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @01:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @01:44PM (#1024101)

      Because that is the date comet neowise will collide with moon.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fyngyrz on Monday July 20 2020, @12:37PM (3 children)

    by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday July 20 2020, @12:37PM (#1024065) Journal

    FTFS:

    NASA Ominously Chooses Halloween 2021 to Launch Long-Delayed Space Telescope

    ...it's only "ominous" if you're a superstitious twit.

    --
    Life without superstition is like a fish without a bicycle.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @02:40PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @02:40PM (#1024123)

      It's ominous because every time they've announced a potential launch date, it ends up moving further into the future. Announcing launch dates turns out to portend launch slip announcements.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fyngyrz on Monday July 20 2020, @04:34PM

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday July 20 2020, @04:34PM (#1024152) Journal

        Slips are good, not ominous. They mean there's an issue that needs to be addressed, and time is being made for that. Issues that need to be addressed, but aren't, tend to have unfortunate consequences, up to and including loss of the vehicle and its payload.

        I'll give you that a slip can be disappointing to someone who has some form of eagerness on the line, but that's hardly an important consideration when we're talking about missing success.

        So again, no: not ominous. Quite the opposite. Here's ominous:

        "The launch needs to be delayed, but won't be."

        That is fucking ominous. 😊

        --
        Why can't you checkmate a Christian?
        Because they are all pawns, and their
        king doesn't exist.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by nostyle on Monday July 20 2020, @04:45PM

      by nostyle (11497) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 20 2020, @04:45PM (#1024160) Journal

      And don't forget that oct(31) == dec(25).

      It's just a day that happens to accord with orbital mechanics.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @01:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @01:24PM (#1024080)

    James Webb was first announced in 1976... that's 45 years! It's going to be so satisfying when this thing blows up on the launchpad and they have to hire Elon Musk to build a new one which he'll get done and launched in fourteen weeks.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 20 2020, @02:18PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 20 2020, @02:18PM (#1024115) Journal

    Maybe they didn't mean the Ominous Oct 31.
    Maybe it was a typo and they meant Oct 13.
    That would be much less Ominous.
    What could go wrong?

    Of course, my favorite is that SLS to launch (yeah right) in November 2021. For sure! This time for reel!

    --
    You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @02:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2020, @02:56PM (#1024125)

    "Decrypting the Cosmic Origins of Halloween" w/ Deep Historian Randall Carlson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75hVrv392BY [youtube.com]

(1)