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posted by on Thursday March 30 2017, @10:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the cost+ dept.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) remains on track for an October 2018 launch:

JWST passed its final vibration testing Tuesday ensuring that the craft is finally fit for spaceflight. NASA has scheduled the telescope for an October 2018 launch, but the telescope was originally supposed to be launched in 2011 marking a long history of major cost overruns and delays.

NASA announced last December that the JWST was halfway completed, but the project is currently $7.2 billion over its initial budget and seven years behind the original schedule. The JWST was initially projected to cost $1.6 billion. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) now estimates the final cost of the telescope at $8.8 billion.

[...] During vibration testing in December at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, accelerometers attached to the telescope detected "unexpected responses" and engineers were forced to shut the test down to protect the hardware. The kind of response NASA found could potentially create serious problems when the telescope is launched into space.


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  • (Score: 2) by stormwyrm on Thursday March 30 2017, @03:09PM (1 child)

    by stormwyrm (717) on Thursday March 30 2017, @03:09PM (#486496) Journal

    The US government almost ruined the JWST, and blamed NASA for it. [scienceblogs.com]

    So the government did an independent review of James Webb in 2010, determined what the quickest and cheapest way to complete it was, and what was needed to make that happen. They then didn’t provide the funds for it, and now further allow the blame to fall on NASA for the delays and cost overruns that they knew would happen.

    […]I’ll note that the $8.7 billion includes approximately $800 million ($0.8 billion) for five years of support and operation — step 6, above — that was not included in the revamped $6.5 billion figure. The reason for the huge, $1-1.5 billion and three year differences is because NASA has had to lay off workers and stop work on many components due to a lack of funds.

    […]And until the sunshield is ready, no matter how good the mirrors and instruments are, the James Webb Space Telescope — and all of NASA astrophysics — can only sit and wait. And while NASA Astrophysics deserves the blame for the initial cost overruns and delays (to $6.5 billion and 2015), the most recent, disastrous news (a cost of $8.7 billion and delays to 2018) should fall on the shoulders of a miserly US congress.

    (all emphasis in original)

    I’m only glad that it’s finally getting finished.

    --
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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday March 30 2017, @04:27PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday March 30 2017, @04:27PM (#486572)

    It's NASA's fault.
    If they had designed a telescope which can be used to find oil or spy on people, the NRO's copy would have been launched on time and on budget!