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posted by martyb on Thursday December 07 2017, @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: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:28PM (5 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:28PM (#607043) Journal

    Having it launch successfully and then die in space would be ideal politically since the money is fully consumed and one can start over with another costly round of one-off development.

    Why you so anti-science, khallow? Did you fail an astrophysics class, or something? Or is this the mothership speaking through you?

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 08 2017, @05:34AM (4 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 08 2017, @05:34AM (#607102) Journal

    Why you so anti-science, khallow?

    Science isn't a political body throwing money around. NASA space projects have devolved decades ago to US-based wealth redistribution to government bureaucracies and businesses that happens to do something in space as part of the activity. The science or other purposes thus becomes a minor part. That's why the US has only one space telescope and very few other missions active at a time (usually with one mission per identifiable niche). For the money being spent, 18 billion USD a year, one could do vastly more. But it involves at the least understanding the economics of space activities, including economies of scale (these are huge due to the remarkably low frequency of space activities), focused and reused technology development, and avoiding costly areas, like orbital launch where private enterprise already provides an adequate, cheap, reliable answer.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Friday December 08 2017, @08:27PM (3 children)

      by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 08 2017, @08:27PM (#607391) Journal

      Science isn't a political body throwing money around. NASA space projects have devolved decades ago to US-based wealth redistribution to government bureaucracies and businesses that happens to do something in space as part of the activity.

      Aha! This explains why the Space Program of the Nation of Somalia is so much further along than the United States! None of that wasteful government bureaucracy in the Libertarian Paradise!

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      #freearistarchus!!!
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 09 2017, @06:28AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 09 2017, @06:28AM (#607637) Journal

        This explains why the Space Program of the Nation of Somalia is so much further along than the United States! None of that wasteful government bureaucracy in the Libertarian Paradise!

        When Somalia had a government [wikipedia.org], it was even less capable of a space program than the present.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Saturday December 09 2017, @09:17AM (1 child)

          by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 09 2017, @09:17AM (#607660) Journal

          Truly, khallow, your head is so far up your ass that the possibility of rational argument is as remote as a bowel movement that would render you rational. So, what Somalia needs, to have a Space Program that rivals the US and the (former)USSR is even less centralized government than it has now? Is this much like the argument that the only thing keeping libertarians from solving homelessness is all these darn government regulations? khallow, I enjoy our talks, but you are really, really sick, bro!

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          #freearistarchus!!!
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 09 2017, @10:08AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 09 2017, @10:08AM (#607673) Journal

            Usually, khallow, I would back you up when you say something rational. But this? What is this? Speculation? CIA Agitprop? Donald pump-and-dump on the markets? I cannot tell. And so, I will not comment. Other than to say, as someone allegedly econo-literate, we expected more of you, khallow. Much more.

            Here. [soylentnews.org]