Webb Space Telescope –Hubble’s Heir Delayed, Yet Again! NASA’s Head Explains (WATCH Today’s ‘Galaxy’ Stream)

 
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“It hasn’t been good,” Jim Bridenstine, the NASA's administrator, recently told The Atlantic's Marina Koren about the work of the contractor, Northrop Grumman. “They know that. NASA knows that. But we’re gonna get it worked out.”


So far, NASA has invested 20 years and billions of dollars in this project. This telescope is going to space. But it’s going to take a lot longer to get there than anyone expected, announcing on Wednesday the third delay in nine months in the telescope’s launch date. The space agency is now aiming for March 30, 2021.

 

“I’m not happy sitting here having to share this story,” Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for nasa’s Science Mission Directorate, told reporters on Wednesday. “We never want to do this. We always want to talk about the successes that we have.”

 

NASA pushed back the launch date after receiving a host of recommendations from an independent review board that was convened after the previous delay—from spring 2019 to spring 2020—was announced in March. The board, chaired by Tom Young, a NASA veteran, found 2020 wasn’t realistic. “When we examined [that target] and when we went through risk and threats and issues that existed … it was our assessment that still too much optimism had been built into the schedule,” Young told reporters.

“We’re certainly annoyed that we have to wait,” said John Mather, Webb’s senior project scientist, on Wednesday. “We have already decided what to do with the first half-year of observations.” But the wait, he added, will be worth it.

The Daily Galaxy via The Atlantic and NASA

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