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posted by martyb on Thursday December 07, @08:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the hurricane-blew-schedule-out-of-the-water dept.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is warning of possible further delays to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST):

A government watchdog is warning that the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the long-awaited successor to the Hubble that's been beset by schedule snafus and cost overruns, might face further delays. NASA announced in September it had pushed back the launch date of the JWST from late 2018 to some time in the spring of 2019 due to testing delays partly blamed on Hurricane Harvey's impact on Texas' Gulf Coast in August.

On Wednesday, lawmakers on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee were told it could take even longer to launch the world's most powerful telescope. "More delays are possible given the risks associated with the work ahead and the level of schedule reserves that are now (below) what's recommended," said Cristina Chaplain, director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management for the Government Accountability Office.

[...] Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for science missions, told lawmakers he expects the space agency will be able to meet the spring 2019 schedule. "I believe it's achievable," he said.

Previously: James Webb Space Telescope Vibration Testing Completed
Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Delayed to Spring 2019

Related: Maiden Flight of the Space Launch System Delayed to 2019
NASA Unlikely to Have Enough Plutonium-238 for Missions by the Mid-2020s
WFIRST Space Observatory Could be Scaled Back Due to Costs

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07, @09:56AM (5 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday December 07, @09:56AM (#606745) Homepage
    They'd not fix it, they'd simply build a replacement. However, as Lagrangian points are limited, they'd need to arm the replacement with some kind of laser weapon to blast the old telescope to smithereens first, so they would actually have one literal shot at it. But that's untested tech, so they'd probably need to prove it was workable by putting some laser-toting satelites in closer orbit around earth first.

    You know, I think I may have just worked out how they could get more funding for this...
    I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @10:07AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @10:07AM (#606748)

    A laser in space that can fry you like an ant, or a microwave laser in space that can make your head heat up and explode (the latter, like in Scanners)?

    You should be very careful what you wish for, because the shit that is capable today.... well it is enough to piss yourself, even if you're not incontinent...

  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Thursday December 07, @03:13PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday December 07, @03:13PM (#606810) Journal

    I was going to say they should have included a "defense" laser from the beginning, to secure military funding.

    If you can't compete with the military, join them?

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday December 07, @06:10PM (1 child)

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday December 07, @06:10PM (#606907) Journal

    Or, you know, someone could hitch a ride with SpaceX and get up there to fix it.

    "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11