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James Webb Space Telescope Vibration Testing Completed

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-03-29 22:22:38
Science

The James Webb Space Telescope [wikipedia.org] (JWST) remains on track for an October 2018 launch [dailycaller.com]:

JWST passed its final vibration testing Tuesday [phys.org] 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 [dailycaller.com], 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 [nasaspaceflight.com]. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) now estimates the final cost of the telescope at $8.8 billion [gao.gov].

[...] During vibration testing in December [phys.org] 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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