The James Webb Space Telescope has been delayed significantly since the initial announcement date.
It is overbudget and considerably behind schedule, and the reason behind that is the company Northrop Grumman, which was hired by NASA to build most of the telescope.
However, it’s worth noting that, despite the numerous setbacks, the project is slowly materializing.
A recent update from NASA revealed the telescope spectacularly stretching part of its moving parts.
A new test proved the telescope’s ability to ultimately deploy its shiny mirror, which is mandatory for gazing into the cosmos.
However, saying that the telescope’s construction was a lousy job would be a significant understatement.
Northrop Grumman has indeed disappointed NASA officials, and the space agency repeatedly asked demanded and explanation as to why the telescope’s development is so far behind schedule.
Ulterior investigations proved that the significant delays were provoked by a series of human errors, such as using incorrect solvents and inadequate fasteners.
In the meantime, the company kept asking for more and more money to finish the job.
The initial budget was only $500 million. However, that sum quickly began rising – The estimated cost of the project back in 2010 was $6.5 billion. The most recent budget plan put the telescope at $9.88 billion, but it’s expected to see it rise even more by the time it’s finished.
The whole COVID-19 situation also affected the development of the telescope. A recent update from NASA reads:
“Given these circumstances, Webb’s Northrop Grumman team in California has resumed integration and testing work with reduced personnel and shifts until the Deployable Tower Assembly set up in April. The project will then shut down integration and testing operations due to the lack of required NASA onsite personnel related to the COVID-19 situation. The project will reassess over the next couple of weeks and adjust decisions as the situation continues to unfold.”