Astronomy: June 2018 Archives

NASA Is Delaying The Launch Of Its $9 Billion Space Telescope -- Again, Buzzfeed

"Make no mistake, I'm not happy sitting here telling you this," NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen told reporters on a briefing about the delay. He deflected criticism from spacecraft contractor Northrop Grumman, saying, "we are part of the team that caused this problem and we are going to have to solve it together." Blowing the budget cap for JWST means that Congress will have to vote to reauthorize completion of the telescope, which has already drawn ire from lawmakers. NASA plans to ask for the authorization and extra money in February. "Program delays and cost overruns don't just delay the JWST's critical work, but they also harm other valuable NASA missions, which may be delayed, defunded, or discarded entirely," Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee told BuzzFeed News in a statement. His committee will hold a hearing to address the report next month. The witnesses will include the NASA administrator, James Bridenstine, and Northrup Grumman CEO Wes Bush. "I expect to see progress on keeping projects on budget and on time," said Smith."

Media Telecon on Status of James Webb Space Telescope, June 27th

"NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT [17:00 UTC], Wednesday, June 27, to provide an update on the agency's James Webb Space Telescope and the findings of an external independent review board. Webb will be the world's premier infrared space observatory and the largest astronomical space science telescope ever built. Audio of the call will stream live on NASA's website [https://www.nasa.gov/live]."

NASA Completes Webb Telescope Review, Commits to Launch in Early 2021

"The Independent Review Board (IRB) established by NASA to assess progress on its James Webb Space Telescope has unanimously recommended that development on the world's premier science observatory should continue; NASA has established a new launch date for Webb of March 30, 2021. A report issued by the review board addresses a range of factors influencing Webb's schedule and performance, including the technical challenges and tasks remaining by primary contractor Northrop Grumman before launch."

"As a result of the delay, Webb's total lifecycle cost to support the March 202l launch date is estimated at $9.66 billion. The development cost estimate to support the new launch date is $8.8B (up from the $8B development cost estimate established in 2011). Along with the IRB's broad-view assessment, NASA also considered data from the project's Standing Review Board (SRB). Both review panels had concluded that a 2020 launch date would have been feasible before the recent acoustics test anomaly."

"Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGAS) should establish corrective actions in processes, training, personnel certification, individual accountability and a robust testing, analysis and inspection process. Agree. NGAS stood down operations and performed an independent set of reviews and rewrites of all propulsion procedures including feedback from the performers. Also, applied Integration & Test (I&T) procedure expertise to manufacturing operations. To further enhance robustness in I&T, NGAS will be incorporating cross program independent reviews of the table top and pre-task briefing processes."

NASA Announces Contract for Next-Generation Space Telescope Named after Space Pioneer (2002)

"The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch in 2010 aboard an expendable launch vehicle. NASA today selected TRW, Redondo Beach, Calif., to build a next-generation successor to the Hubble Space Telescope in honor of the man who led NASA in the early days of the fledgling aerospace agency. Under the terms of the contract valued at $824.8 million, TRW will design and fabricate the observatory's primary mirror and spacecraft. TRW also will be responsible for integrating the science instrument module into the spacecraft as well as performing the pre-flight testing and on-orbit checkout of the observatory."

- Webb Space Telescope May Bust Its Budget Cap Yet Again (Updated) (2018)
- Management Shake Up on Webb Space Telescope (2018)
- Yet Another Webb Problem Review Panel (2018)
- More Cost Overruns and Delays for Webb (2010)

NASA Evaluating JWST Independent Review Report, Space Policy Online

"NASA is in the process of evaluating the report from the Independent Review Board chaired by Tom Young to assess the status of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Established in March, the Board was due to submit its report on May 31. NASA said today that the Board has completed its work and briefed NASA. The report will be released later this month after NASA determines the impact on cost and schedule."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronomy category from June 2018.

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