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JWST Independent Review Board Report to be Released This Month

By Marc Boucher
NASA Watch
June 5, 2018
Filed under
JWST Independent Review Board Report to be Released This Month

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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2 responses to “JWST Independent Review Board Report to be Released This Month”

  1. Daniel Woodard says:

    With the long history of the program, it’s hard to see what a review panel will discover that is not already common knowledge. If you want to reduce cost and schedule risk, the best approach is evolutionary design with more frequent launches, with each instrument a more limited advance over the one before.

    The Hubble concept of servicing with dedicated Shuttle flights was based on an unrealistic estimate of the cost of a Shuttle misison, but the concept proposed in the 70’s that telescopes could co-orbit near the ISS for ease of access seems to have been forgotten, and the space environemnt near the ISS has turned out to be cleaner than once assumed so smaller instruments could be mounted directly on the structure.

    • fcrary says:

      There’s too much vibration on ISS for a good, astronomical telescope. The STIS instrument on Hubble, for example, has 0.05 arcsecond resolution in the UV. That’s a 0.000013 degrees. You aren’t going to get that sort of pointing stability attached to ISS with astronauts moving around inside.

      Also, despite the cost of Shuttle flights, Hubble did manage to do evolutionary improvements in instrument design. The Wide Field Camera is a third generation version of the original Wide Field and Planetary Camera. I don’t see why a similar approach using a Dragon 2 for servicing wouldn’t work. (Well, having the Earth blocking half the sky is a pain when observing with HST and a sufficiently higher would wouldn’t be in easy range of servicing missions.)