James Webb Space Telescope launch delayed for the umpteenth time

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,053   +153
Staff member
The big picture: NASA has once again delayed the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope due to a last-minute issue. At the current rate, it’ll take nothing short of a miracle to get the observatory into space before Christmas. But eh, a small delay at this stage is better than something that can't be remedied once it is in space.

NASA said it is working on a communication issue between the telescope and the launch vehicle. As a result, launch will now take place no earlier than December 24. The space agency promised to provide more information on the new launch date no later than December 17.

Last month, NASA bumped the launch date to no earlier than December 22 after an unexpected incident when securing the observatory to the launch vehicle adapter. After a thorough review, it was determined that the telescope had incurred no damage.

Development on what would become the James Webb Space Telescope started way back in 1996 as the Next Generation Space Telescope, a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. It was renamed after NASA administrator James E. Webb in 2002 with an initial launch set for 2007.

Unfortunately, myriad issues and cost overruns have delayed the launch well over a dozen times. By the time it is all said and done, the project will likely have cost NASA nearly $10 billion – well over initial estimates of $1.6 billion.

The James Webb Space Telescope will blast off from Kourou in French Guiana courtesy of an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket, hopefully on Christmas Eve.

Permalink to story.

 

yRaz

Posts: 4,344   +4,991
No biggie. Some video games take nearly that long.
If 10 billion of my taxpayer dollars are going in to space, then yeah, make damn sure everything is on the up.

Besides, we all know it more than likely will have a secondary purpose that is Earth bound so no problem. Get it right.
wow, you paid for the whole thing? Elon Musk would be proud
 

Revolution 11

Posts: 125   +162
A few more delays and Jesus Christ himself will return before James Webb launches to space.

Yes yes, take your time NASA. The only thing that is worse is if something happens to the telescope before it goes online.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,677   +7,586
Well, considering the errors of the last time, I don't mind them tweaking it as long as it gets launched in the near future. After all, without a Space Shuttle to fly to the rescue with a bunch of large spare parts we can't afford to rush it too much ....... yawn ......
 

Revolution 11

Posts: 125   +162
yes, that is absolutely, 100% what I took away from what you said. I actually printed out my reply and put it in front of my Trump statue in my 2020 election fraud shrine then said the pledge of allegiance
You were wearing your MAGA hat, right? XD
 

McKocoa

Posts: 57   +67
Just gonna say it, I don't think this thing is going to work. There are too many things that could go wrong and they have one shot. The budget for this is insane (10 billion) and it's at the expense of a lot of other important science projects. Spent an entire basket of eggs on an overly complex scheme when the NRO already has much more advanced satellites. James Webb telescope is a rejected[donated] spy satellite from a decade ago. I hope I'm wrong, it has the potential to get some incredible images and data.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,093   +1,675
They only have one of it. And it took years to make.
So they only have once chance at it, and can't take any risk.
Rather to wait for the ideal conditions, than to blow it up while rushing things.
I got that, but they have been with this since 2004.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 6,178   +6,657
I'm beginning to wonder - what was James Webb's achievement to be naming this telescope after him in the first place? As far as I know, he was just a regular politician.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,380   +2,528
TechSpot Elite
I'm beginning to wonder - what was James Webb's achievement to be naming this telescope after him in the first place? As far as I know, he was just a regular politician.

From the article - "Yet, many believe that James E. Webb, who ran the fledgling space agency from February 1961 to October 1968, did more for science than perhaps any other government official and that it is only fitting that the Next Generation Space Telescope would be named after him."
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,495   +6,305
I predict this telescope will be in space and operating long before "Star Citizen" is ever "finished".
If everything goes successfully tomorrow, that's a given. ;) If you are up, you might be able to view the launch live on the Nasa web site. (Don't quote me on that, I don't know if the Nasa web site has a Nasa TV feed.)

I think it rather interesting that it is being launched on an Ariane 5 rocket rather than a Falcon Heavy or some other SpaceX vehicle. I wonder if that says anything about what NASA thinks of SpaceX in terms of lauching such valuable payloads?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,547   +7,388
I think it rather interesting that it is being launched on an Ariane 5 rocket rather than a Falcon Heavy or some other SpaceX vehicle. I wonder if that says anything about what NASA thinks of SpaceX in terms of lauching such valuable payloads?
I think it's an understated, low key, governmental way, of stuffing a sock in that windbag's mouth.

Well that, and this (From Google search):
Is the Ariane 5 rocket reliable?

The Ariane 5 is one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world, with just one partial failure in its last 97 missions. The European Space Agency is paying for Webb's launch as part of its contribution to the mission.

I can see where NASA might not want to trust a 10 billion dollar telescope to one of Muskis' "wash and wear again" Falcons. Besides it would have to be a "Falcon Heavy", and Musk would have to pay NASA to use one. We all know that ain't happening
 
Last edited:

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,495   +6,305
I think it's an understated, low key, governmental way, of stuffing a sock in that windbag's mouth.

Well that, and this (From Google search):
Is the Ariane 5 rocket reliable?

The Ariane 5 is one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world, with just one partial failure in its last 97 missions. The European Space Agency is paying for Webb's launch as part of its contribution to the mission.

I can see where NASA might not want to trust a 10 billion dollar telescope to one of Muskis' "wash and wear again" Falcons. Besides it would have to be a "Falcon Heavy", and Musk would have to pay NASA to use one. We all know that ain't happening
Thanks, Captain. Well, partly a free ride (as it should be if ESA is sharing time on it) and probably mostly reliability. If it were my decision, I would have made the same one. And I am sure you must know by now - it paid off. JWST is on its way. Let's hope that the totality of the mission is as glitch-free.