Monday, October 2, 2017

NASA's Next Space Telescope (JWST) is Delayed

NASA announced Sept. 28 that the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope mission, which had been planned for next fall, will now be delayed until the spring of 2019.

In a statement posted on the agency’s website, NASA said that an assessment of overall work needed to complete integration and testing of the $8 billion spacecraft led to the decision to postpone the launch by about half a year.

“The change in launch timing is not indicative of hardware or technical performance concerns,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, said in the statement. “Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected.”

The release noted that testing of the telescope and its instruments “continues to go well and on schedule” in a thermal vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Center but that the spacecraft bus and sunshield, being assembled at a Northrop Grumman facility in California, were suffering delays.

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