NASA has said in an official statement that they are not going to rush and launch their next generation telescope until at least 2020. Why? Because they are going to focus on trying to test out and better assemble the James Webb Space Telescope. This one is considered to be the next and best telescope in line after Hubble.
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This news does not come as a complete surprise for most people since the Webb Telescope has been delayed for almost a decade now due to various reasons. The last predicted launch date was supposed to be in 2019 but it has now been pushed to 2020.
When talking about this issue, NASA’s administrator of science, Thomas Zurbuchen, said that they are pushing the launch date back because they want to make sure that, when they finally launch it into space, it will operate perfectly. Simply put, they do not want to send something out that takes time and money to build in order for it to break right after.
Hubble is constantly taken care of by space shuttle astronauts but NASA’s has other plans for Webb. They want it to orbit the Sun. The distance that they have set Webb to orbit around would be unreachable for astronauts if something were to break down. This is why they are taking so many precautions to ensure that everything will be perfect.
For this project NASA has teamed up with the European Space Agency. In their latest announcement, the launch date has been set during May of 2020 from French Guiana. An independent review board will be looking to see what else needs to be done and if the launch date is in need of any other adjustments. All in all, this telescope is NASA’s and ESA’s most ambitious project to date and we are more than ready to see what it will be able to do once all the work is finished.