James Webb Telescope Launch Will Likely Be Delayed

Posted: Mar 3 2018, 9:25am CST | by , Updated: Mar 3 2018, 9:33am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
James Webb Telescope Launch will Likely be Delayed
Credit: NASA

NASA recently announced that launch of James Webb Telescope would be delayed several months, from October 2018 to June 2019

NASA’s James Webb Telescope may experience further delay in its launch. A new report shows that many components of the telescope are taking longer time to integrate than planned. Testing of its scientific instruments is also underway. In these circumstances, the launch date of telescope could be pushed back.

James Webb Space Telescope, the formal successor of Hubble Telescope, was originally targeted to launch in October 2018. But now NASA is planning to delay it until June 2019.

Once operational, James Webb Space Telescope will be the world's premier infrared space observatory of the next decade. The telescope is aiming to complement and extend the discoveries of Hubble Space Telescope. The most prominent feature of the telescope is its primary mirror. It is two times wider than the Hubble mirror which makes it more than 400 times more sensitive than current ground-based or space infrared telescopes. With longer wavelength coverage and improved sensitivity, James Webb Telescope will peer into distant worlds and help solve the mysteries of our solar system. One of the most widely anticipated areas of Webb’s research will be the planets orbiting other stars.

James Webb Telescope is one of most complex and expensive projects of NASA. The project will cost $8.8 billion. But if the launch is delayed, the project will be at risk of exceeding the cost cap set by Congress.

Once the telescope is fully assembled, it will undergo more rigorous tests to assess its performance levels. The additional testing will ensure the telescope is fully prepared before launching into space.

“JWST made considerable progress toward the completion of integration and test activities in the past year. However, the project used all remaining schedule reserve—or extra time set aside in the schedule in the event of delays or unforeseen risks—to address technical issues, including an anomaly on the telescope found during vibration testing.” Authors wrote in the report.

“Extending the launch window provided the project up to 4 months of schedule reserve.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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